"The subject of my work is not dreams or desires, not even the drama of an unhappy existence. The subject of my work is a different world. In the bodies I portray there is always my body, armed only with its own nudity. In my pictures there is always my life, the days and nights, the land where I live. It’s a never ending narration of my premeditated revolt against the policies that discriminate against the bodies, obscure the vision, impose rules of representation."
azt is a gay, HIV+, italian artist. Born in 1974, he lives and works in Bologna.
His interest for photography made him first develop the most narrative aspects of the medium, as in an exquisite torture (2006), histoire d'eau (2008) or where is my mind? (2007-2015) – where he frequently used his own naked body as an instrument for identity search and emotive expression together with urban landscapes and details.
"It all began with one very specific image: the work of Richard Avedon titled "Andy Warhol & Members of the Factory, NYC, October 30, 1969". I found it in a catalog in the sculptor's studio where I was attending classes and I got such an impact that I had to hide and photocopy it. I still preserve that photocopy as a relic."
From 2007 he dedicates almost exclusively to portray naked men with the many male nudes series. His research starts with the statement of difference as human inestimable value and explores the most personal and erotic aspects of his subjects. Through their physical nudity, he unveils a male universe that strongly differs from rules and stereotypes imposed by fashion and mass culture. Bypassing cultural superstructures, he displays an image of personalized, intimate and strongly politicized masculinity.
"When I started producing my own works it was not difficult to choose the male nude as recurring theme. Nudity became, over time, not only an aesthetic vision and the core of my art, but also a political choice and a way of life. The male body of the model, laid bare, is to me a kind of "absolute subject", complete and perfect in itself, with which I can create images in endless variations. Through them I express my view of the world. I disagree with any hierarchy that imposes the predominance of some parts of the body over the others, and with any rule that determines what can be represented and what should not be shown. "
He produced many artist books and published his works in contemporary art magazines and catalogs.
He exhibited in museums, private galleries and non-profit spaces in Europe and United States.
His works are in important european and international art collections.
RADIANT PRESENCE - Day With(out) Art 2015, curated by Visual AIDS, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (New York, NY), Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, NY), former St. Vincent's Hospital (New York, NY), de Young Museum (San Francisco, CA), Castro Theatre (San Francisco, CA), Dimensions Variable (Miami, FL) and many more locations.
STILL - Das Stilleben in der zeitgenössischen Photographie, curated by Peter Weiermair, Laa an der Thaya (AUT), Langenzersdorf-Museum, (AUT), MuseumORTH (AUT), Galerie foto-forum, Bozen (IT).
Postcards From The Edge: A Benefit for Visual AIDS, Luhring Augustine, New York, NY.
DIARIES: An anthology of photography from Italy, curated by Peter Weiermair, The Leslie-Lohman Museum, New York, NY.
In the End was the Word, curated by Peter Weiermair, Ursula Blickle Stiftung, Kraichtal-Unteröwisheim (D).
Ossessione Verde, curated by Peter Weiermair, Galleria De Faveri, Sovramonte (BL).
Ultimo Quarto, curated by Matteo Bergamini, FAC, Milano.
ombrapenombrabuio, curated by Matteo Bergamini, Studio ART 74, Bologna.
Ustioni, curated by Matteo Bergamini, Private Flat, Firenze.
Lettera e testamento, curated by Matteo Bergamini, FAC, Milano.
Next-door monsters, curated by Francesco Paolo Del Re, Laboratori Sotterranei, Roma.
Altrove, curated by Francesco Paolo Del Re and Antonio David Fiore, Rialtosantambrogio, Roma.
Quali corpi quale carne, curated by Francesco Paolo Del Re and Antonio David Fiore, Rialtosantambrogio, Roma.
2014 - Hunter O'Hanian, Self Portraits By Others.
2013 - The naked and the nude, curated by Peter Weiermair, Grafiche dell'Artiere.
2012 - azt, d e n d r o p h i l i a, Blurb. Preview and buy online
2012 - azt, male nudes, curated by Peter Weiermair, All Saints Press.
2011 - azt, Pain is important, preface by Peter Weiermair, Blurb. Preview and buy online
2010 - azt, Jacopo e Marco, Blurb. Preview and buy online
2010 - azt, Giancarlo, Blurb. Preview and buy online
2010 - azt, Histoire d'eau, prefacae by Giancarlo Furfaro, Blurb. Preview and buy online
2010 - azt, Lettere d'amore, curated by Matteo Bergamini, Blurb. Preview and buy online
2010 - azt, Oh Sinner man, Blurb. Preview and buy online
2008 - Treasures of Gay Art, curated by Peter Weiermair, All Saints Press.
Magazines & Web
An Epidemic of Creativity, curated by Jack Mackenroth - Web Gallery on Visual AIDS (Dec. 2015).
Sampling the Self, curated by Allen Frame - Web Gallery on Visual AIDS (Dec. 2015).
INTERTEXT, curated by Chris E. Vargas - Web Gallery on Visual AIDS (Dec. 2015).
Intervista con azt - The Pink Snout (ita/en) (2015).
AZT | Teorema - Mein schwules Auge #12 (2015).
Intervista ad AZT di Elisa Manici - La Falla (ita) (2015).
La Falla #10 - poster + interview by Elisa Manici (2015).
I wanted body as form and viceversa, curated by Chris Stiegler - Web Gallery on Visual AIDS (Jan. 2015).
Altri corpi - PRIDE (Italia) #179 (2014).
AZT / let me play with your soul - interview by Massimiliano Briarava - c.a.p. 74024 #1 - Original Sin (2014).
I Am My Own Landscape, curated by Ivan Acebo-Choy - Web Gallery on Visual AIDS (Feb. 2014).
Where is my mind? - PORNCEPTUAL (2013).
Vieni dentro di me - c.a.p. 74024 (ita) c.a.p. 74024 (en) (2013).
OLTRE LA PELLE / BEYOND THE SKIN - MASCULAR Magazine No. 6 | the 'Water' Issue (ita/en) (2013).
synusi@pills ::: guest – azt - interview by casaluce/geiger - DROME magazine (en) DROME magazine (ita) (2012).
A5 Magazine No. 5 / Future (2008).