Luca Artioli

interview of Andrea Golin of The Wolfsonian Museum of Miami

ePropaganda is published monthly by The Wolfsonian–FIU.© 2013 The Wolfsonian–FIU.
Art Direction: Mylinh Nguyen; Communications Manager: Maris M. Bish; Writer & Editor: Andrea Gollin

Visionaries member Luca Artioli

Talking with Visionaries Member Luca Artioli
“What I want to do is to teach people to see the beauty around us,” says Luca Artioli, a fine arts photographer, artist, and poet whose work has been exhibited nationally and internationally. Originally from Milan, Artioli now works out of his Miami Beach home studio after moving to Miami, sight unseen, in 2008. “I felt like this city called me and I came. I followed my instincts,” he says. Artioli is no stranger to radical transitions—he became an artist after a successful career in finance. He spent about a decade in the banking industry in Italy, but following a series of family tragedies, he turned to art. “I realized that finance was not my vocation in life,” he says. “I started to see beauty when I needed beauty to recover my soul. I became an artist because of my desire to see the light in the darkness and to convey this to others.” He has since fashioned a prolific, multifaceted career. He has published several books with Mondadori, an Italian publishing house, many of which interweave his poetry with his images—the wide-ranging subjects of his books include India; La Scala, Milan’s opera house; and images of snow. He is now at work on a series of photos of Miami. Additionally, he often collaborates with corporate clients such as Mont Blanc and Hermès and with cultural organizations including the Metropolitan Opera and La Scala. Much of his photographic work is almost watercolor-like, featuring blurred, evocative images that invite alternate ways of looking. “My mission is to encourage a sense of wonder. I want to capture the beauty around us,” he says.

When in life are you most aware of design?
Always. Here in Miami everything is designed. Even nature—the shells, the palm trees. The architecture is amazing. Nature, the tropical vegetation is gorgeous. This is a beautiful city. Through my work, I try to convey the gift of what I am seeing. We don’t always take time to look around us.

Why did you join the Visionaries?
When I first moved here, I went to all of the museums. When I visited The Wolfsonian I felt so comfortable because many of the pieces are from Italy. I felt a little at home. I like the objects, the people, the atmosphere, the energy. Miami needs a place like The Wolfsonian. The Wolfsonian has made a big difference for me and I want it to flourish.

What is your favorite object in The Wolfsonian?
The bust of Mussolini that is the endless profile [Profilo continuo del Duce (Continuous profile of the Duce)]. It is so beautiful. To me, it represents how you can transform horror into something beautiful and also how you can convey movement.

Do you have a favorite object that you own?
I inherited some Roman and Greek vases from a relative who founded the Museo Egizio [Egyptian Museum, Turin, Italy]. What I like best is a little black vase. It is not a beautiful piece, not artistically significant. I like it because you can see fingerprints in the clay. These are the fingerprints of a man from two thousand years ago. Sometimes I imagine his face as he was making the vase.

Why does design matter?
Design is really important. It makes your life more beautiful. Sometimes designers are able to develop the beauty in common objects. So even when you are using a fork, spoon, and knife, these objects can make you feel surprised, happy, and full of wonder. Life is tough for everybody. If you can see the beauty, in this way you can have some light.

To find out more about The Wolfsonian Visionaries, or to join, email

Esther Shalev-Gerz
Describing Labor–Man With Drill, 2012
Color photograph
39 3/8 X 51 18 in (100 x 130 cm)
Commissioned by The Wolfsonian–Florida International University, Miami Beach, Florida, 2012
Courtesy of the artist

Describing Labor Publication Available in Shop

“It took me back in time to when I was a little kid and my uncle used to work in a power plant like that. My grandma used to take me there for lunch in summer-time when I was out of school. I remember the cords, the cables, the pipes, and the whole environment around it.”

“First of all, it’s a very powerful image—and it’s an image of power.”

“There’s no harness; there’s nothing to support these workers. They’re there. They’re way above New York City. They’re building this new structure.”

The above excerpts are the words of people responding to historic artworks in which workers appear for Describing Labor, an exhibition by artist Esther Shalev-Gerz commissioned and organized by The Wolfsonian.

Describing Labor draws on Shalev-Gerz’s research into depictions of work and working figures from the late nineteenth through the mid-twentieth century. Once an icon of class consciousness and national character—widely portrayed in the period of the Russian Revolution, the Great Depression, and the two World Wars, the worker has since receded from the forefront of the visual field. Through new works of video, audio, and photography,Describing Labor gives image to this often unseen figure whose labor fabricates the physical world. Rather than glorify historic representations and rather than fetishize the figure of the worker, Describing Labor carries its readers into a living image—the picturing of creation and of our own place within it.

A publication produced in conjunction with the exhibition is available in The Museum Shop. Edited by exhibition curators Matthew Abess and Marianne Lamonaca and designed by Wolfsonian art director Mylinh Trieu Nguyen, the 143-page publication ($39) features color images of Shalev-Gerz’s photographs and video; transcripts of her video and sound installations; an illustrated index of historic artworks; essays by Jacques Rancière and Marianne Lamonaca; and a conversation between the artist and Matthew Abess. For more information, contact The Museum Shop at or 305.535.2680.

Coming Soon/Going Soon

• Hear all about Art Deco: This weekend, from Friday, January 18 through Sunday, January 20, The Wolfsonian co-presents the free lecture series for the Miami Design Preservation League’s thirty-sixth annual Art Deco Weekend, which explores the Art Deco era in Florida. All lectures take place at The Wolfsonian.

• The exhibition Race and Visual Culture under National Socialism opens Thursday, January 24, 2013 in The Wolfsonian Teaching Gallery at FIU’s Frost Art Museum with a lecture on the topic by guest curator Oren Baruch Stier, director of the Jewish Studies Program and associate professor of religious studies at FIU. Lecture takes place at 4pm and is free, with online registration required; this lecture is one in a series organized in conjunction with the exhibition, all of which can be viewed here.

• Pan Pan Café at The Wolfsonian is up and running, so come check it out if you have not already done so—and if you have, please come again!

On view through April 7, 2013.

On view through March 31, 2013.

On view in the museum’s Bridge Tender House through April 2013.


On view for a limited engagement.

On view in the museum’s rare book and special collections library vestibule on view through March 31, 2013.


The Wolfsonian–FIU gratefully acknowledges our current publication, program, and exhibition supporters:

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; John S. and James L. Knight Foundation; the Jerome A. Yavitz Charitable Foundation; Van Cleef & Arpels; FIU Division of Information Technology: University Technology Services; Gary Wasserman and Charles Kashner; National Endowment for the Arts; The Wolfsonian–FIU Alliance; Lincoln; City National Bank; Wells Fargo; Consulate General of the Netherlands; Isabel and Marvin Leibowitz; Carnival Foundation; Lewis Global Village Charitable Trust; Northern Trust; Adam R. Rose and Peter R. McQuillan; Harry Kramer Memorial Fund; The Garner Foundation, Inc.; Rich Steiner, CFP of Northwestern Mutual; Adam Sender Charitable Trust; The Other Wine Co; Leon Levy Foundation; William J. and Tina Rosenberg Foundation; and Perrier® Sparkling Natural Mineral Water.

The Wolfsonian–FIU is proud to receive ongoing support from:
John S. and James L. Knight Foundation; The Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, The Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners; The State of Florida; Department of Cultural Affairs; The Florida Council on Arts and Culture; The City of Miami Beach Cultural Affairs Program Cultural Arts Council; The Arthur F. and Alice E. Adams Foundation; Bacardi, USA., Inc; and The Wolfsonian Visionaries.

ePropaganda is published monthly by The Wolfsonian–FIU.© 2013 The Wolfsonian–FIU.
Art Direction: Mylinh Nguyen; Communications Manager: Maris M. Bish; Writer & Editor: Andrea Gollin

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Posted: January 22, 2013


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