Rino Pizzi is an Italian-born photographer and independent curator. His career as an artist began in 2007 in Austin, Texas, when his scholarly education in film studies, combined with his interest in contemporary art, insisted he pursue full-time his long standing interest in photography.
After a year of exploration—including street photography, portraiture, architecture, and abstraction—Pizzi presented a collection of prints in a private one person exhibition in 2008, followed by the publication of his first collection of portraits—Objects of Affection. The book shaped his ideas about collaborative art: rather than considering a photographic image as the end-all of the creative endeavor, he began regarding it as the starting point for collaborations that would result in grand transformations.
The first iteration was the Mona Lisa Project, wherein artists were invited to pose as the iconic muse, then embellish or simplify their portrait as they saw fit. Presented by the Austin Museum of Art (now The Contemporary, Austin) in May 2011, and the Grand Rapids Art Museum later that year, it was nominated for the year’s best exhibition by the Austin Critics Table. The catalog of the exhibition is available from Amazon.
His next collaborative work, transFIGURATION (2013) invited artists to sit for a portrait, alter/destroy/damage the print, and finally restore or repair the portrait in a way that spoke to them. The project was shown by Big Medium in Austin. transFIGURATION was featured in a documentary by Karen Bernstein, broadcast by many PBS affiliates, and received the Austin Critics Table Award for best independent work of art. Please click here to see the PBS documentary.
The following project, ArtFiction, involved writers, artists, and actor/performers as they combined to create and—in myriad ways—tell the stories of fictional Texas artists working from the 1930s to present day. The exhibition was presented at Lawndale, Houston, in 2016. A book that includes all texts, photographs and reproduction of artwork was designed by Pentagram Austin, with introductory notes by Annette DiMeo Carlozzi. The book is available directly from Rino Pizzi. Please use the form below for inquiries.
In 2018 a new collaborative exhibition, Photo/Montage (12x12), was presented by GrayDuck Gallery in Austin and included twelve artists who created unique collages based on the same selection of images from Pizzi's portfolio. A catalog of the exhibition can be previewed and purchased from Blurb.
While developing his group projects, Rino Pizzi pursues his own individual work as photographer, focusing on portraiture and fine art. He is available for commissions and special projects.