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Gianna Liani: From craftsmanship to Ultra Pop Art & traveling the world!

From the wedding favors, which she packed in her store, each one different from the other, to the dedicated Wikipedia page, Gianna Liani has faced her entire life in an artistic way. And still today she has a little big dream: to exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Gianna tells us: “During one of my stays in the United States, I made contact with the direction of the museum. I would love to become part of the collection entitled to Venice”. Her paintings are presented as an evolution of Pop Art. Gianna Liani adores Andy Warhol and has called her art Ultra Pop Art In Progress. Explains the artist, “I’ve been told it’s a finished current now. But I believe that all trends can be recovered by reinventing them. Art for me is a search for novelty. It serves to understand life and the future”.

Gianna Liani’s creativity began to take shape in the eighties, when she managed a store of wedding favors with her husband. But they are not mass-produced products, each one is different from the other. She managed to obtain funds from the European Union to teach creation, packaging and sales to young women all over Europe. In many years she has taught more than eighty and most of them are artists. This is how Gianna Liani diverted her creativity towards painting and began to exhibit all over the world. Gianna recounts, “I worked day and night. With the help of the Institute for Foreign Trade, I brought my works to the United Arab Emirates, then everywhere: Europe, the United States, Australia, New Zealand”. Her sources of inspiration are many and very different; besides Warhol, Gianna Liani loves Eugène Delacroix, Mario Schifano, Gustav Klimt. But like many artists she does not only look at the great masters and tries to sink her hands into life with its most extreme nuances, from joy to pain. As a young woman, Gianna dedicated herself to the sick, assisting them, consoling them. She recounts: “At that time I was not impressed by infirmity, now I don’t know if I would still be able to. I remember one of the two daughters, both handicapped, of a young couple: she had a beautiful face, with two wonderful eyes, but her body was deformed. I would try to focus on her face. These are experiences that I still carry inside. They gave me strength, I understood what we came to do in the world.” Gianna is enthusiastic about life and the activities that each of us can do: “When I was in the California desert, I admired the work of man in such a hostile environment, houses, roads, antennas. I believe that if one can do something, one must do it. Otherwise, why are we here?” And the pandemic? “I didn’t notice it that much,” Gianna says. “I just kept working. I live in a small town and only noticed the situation when someone at the supermarket reminded me to wear a mask. Of course, the world has changed, but again, you have to give yourself strength and overcome the situation. This too will pass, like many other things in human history.”

Even though she cultivates the dream of exhibiting at the Metropolitan in New York, Gianna Liani has not lacked professional satisfaction. One above all: the Golden Lion at the Biennale of Art in Venice, in 1995. She recounts: “Out of three hundred participating artists, no one had ever applied, as I did, so many bicomponent resins to a painting, a very resistant material that doesn’t break even if you step on it, but that reflects the image and the colors. At the time almost no one used it; now I also put resins on the jewelry I create and apply to paintings. The painting I presented at the Biennale depicts a horse taking flight amidst flowers”. 

Currently, Gianna Liani is exhibiting her works in Naples (within the exhibition “Troisi Poeta Massimo”), in Venice, in Trieste. Since her retirement, her production of works has increased exponentially. “I can paint as many as 300 a year,” explains Gianna, “They are small paintings, usually 25×30, so that they fill entire walls when I take them on display.” She lives in her town, Martignacco (Udine), and commutes to London, where her son, an architect, and her beloved nieces have lived for twenty-two years.