The “Lorenzo il Magnifico” for Lifetime Achievement Award 2015 for visual arts has been presented, to the Tuscan painter and sculptor trained at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Firenze, Giampaolo Talani, who has renewed the cultural heritage of the Florentine Renaissance with his experimentation in ancient techniques such as frescoes within the contemporary art scene, showing his vocation for an ideal dialogue with the community of the polis.
Born in San Vincenzo (Livorno) in 1955, Giampaolo Talani graduated at the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence, where he was taught by Goffredo Trovarelli.
In his early years Talani painted a cycle of frescoes in the church of his native town, and other works in Massa Marittima such as Saint Bernardino Preaching in the bishop’s palace and the frescoes in the sanctuary of the Madonna del Frassine. Later on he emerged as a sculptor with a preference for bronze casts, which can be regarded as three-dimensional variants of his painted figures. As a painter and sculptor Talani exhibited internationally and, amongst other, participated to the 54th Venice Biennale.
In the first decade of the new millennium the Municipality of San Vincenzo commissioned him the paintings on wood that were presented by Vittorio Sgarbi in 2002, and also the 7-metre sculpture known as The Sailor (2010). A 20-meter version of that bronze statue was installed in the Port of Miami in 2012 to commemorate the Florentine navigator Amerigo Vespucci. In 2006 Talani painted his Departures, currently at the Santa Maria Novella railway station in Florence. That mural painting is destined to be moved into the city’s newly opened Museo del Novecento, whilst the cartoon is in the Florentine branch of the Banca di Cambiano.
In 2008 Talani unveiled in Florence, at Palazzo Vecchio, an anthological exhibition entitled the “Rose of the Winds”, as was his bronze sculpture set in the loggia of the Uffizi. In 2014 a bronze Rose of the Winds by Talani was installed at the Santa Lucia railway station in Venice. Besides, the “Rosa dei venti – l’isola che non c’è” (Rose of the Winds – Neverland) is the title of the television programme featuring Talani as a protagonist, which was produced by the RAI in 2008. That same title was given to Talani’s open-air sculpture exhibition set up in 2009 at Pietrasanta, in the charming piazzetta before the cathedral. Still in 2009 Talani took part to the 20th anniversary celebrations of the fall of the Berlin Wall by presenting his installation Die Mauer – The Umbrellas of Freedom. In 2015, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of that same event, Talani’s 3.5-metre sculpture entitled Departures, yet known as “the traveller”, was installed in Berlin at Washingtonplatz, facing the main railway station of the capital of Germany.
Amongst other works by Giampaolo Talani in public spaces, mention should be made of A Thousand Men (2008) in the Museo del Risorgimento at the “Vittoriano” in Rome, and The Hero’s Shadow (2007), inspired by the “hero of two worlds”, also in Rome, in the picture gallery of the Palazzo del Quirinale. Still displayed in the residence of the President of the Italian Republic is one of the two bronze casts featuring the Bust of Giuseppe Garibaldi (the other is at Palazzo Madama, which houses the Senate).