Desiderio Sanzi

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Desiderio Sanzi
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Desiderio Sanzi[1] is an Italian artist working in the fields of painting, installations, performance, video production and directing.[2] For many years he has travelled between Italy and Cuba and has participated in the 54th Venice Biennale in the Cuban Pavilion (2011)[3], two editions of the Havana Biennale (2012 and 2015)[1] and the 4th Biennale "Fin del Mundo" in Valparaiso, Chile (2015)[1].


Between 2007 and 2009 he made the trilogy of short films: "Beauty Hazard", "Confabula Spurio" and "I love my Queen".[4]

  • "Beauty Hazard"[4] was made in 2007 and presented at the exhibition "Beauty Hazard" held at the CAOS Museum in Terni organized by IndisciplinArte.
  • "Confabula Spurio"[4] was made in 2008 inside the former Convent Le Grazie (former orphanage Federico di Donato, located near Narni) presented at Superstudio Più in Milan and winner of the "Italian Factory Award"[5].
  • "I love my Queen"[4] was presented in 2009 at the Nuovo Cinema Aquila in Rome during the VIEDRAM Festival.

He realized the couple of short films: "Bluesky" and "They win on the Sky"[6].

  • "Bluesky" was presented in 2010 during the participation in the 54th Venice Biennale, inside the Cuban pavilion on the island of San Servolo.
  • "They win on the Sky" was presented in 2012 during the participation of the Havana Biennial.

In 2009 he participated in the exhibition "Apocalypse wow!" dedicated to the Anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, curated by Julie Kogler, at MACRO Future in Rome together with other artists including Ron English and Obey Shepard Fairey)[7].

In 2011 he participated in the 54th Venice Biennale in the Cuban pavilion on the island of San Servolo, together with artists such as Alexandre Arrechea (one of Los Carpinteros), Eduardo Ponjuàn, Yoan Capote, Duvier del Dago Fernandez.

In 2012 he made a large video installation entitled "They win on the sky" for the eleventh edition of the Havana Biennial, inside a "guagua" (i.e. a Cuban bus) in the exhibition "ClubNoCke" curated by Julio César Llopiz, Marcel Marquez and Frency Fernandez[8].

In 2013 he produced his first feature film entitled "Ahora si llego!"[9]: it was the first roadmovie made entirely in Cuba to receive support from the Cuban government[10].

  • In this feature film Desiderio[11] was aboard an old Ural sidecar with his friend Jose Balboa, going around all the Cuban provinces interviewing artists and people of culture on the island.

He was one of the artists chosen to participate in the exhibition "Genius Loci" of the fifth edition of the Pio Alferano Prize (2016)[12] conducted by Vittorio Sgarbi of which he is artistic director, at the Castello dell'Abate in Castellabate.

After ten years since his first exhibition at the CAOS Museum in Terni, in May 2017 he presented a second exhibition always titled "Beauty Hazard"[13], in the public spaces of CAOS in Terni with IndisciplinArte.

In December 2017 he made his own exhibition entitled "Nirvana", curated by Chiara Canali at the Fabbrica del Vapore[14].

In September 2019 he realized the public project "Malebolge"[2][15], curated by Lorenzo Rubini, inside the former church of San Michele Arcangelo in Amelia, during the Ameria Festival (Festival of the municipality of Amelia).

  • In this public project Desiderio[16] has created some big oil paintings on canvas, inspired by the Inferno of Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy. These paintings have been created by the artist on measure to be inserted in the coffers and in the old frames present inside the former church.

In 2020 he made the feature film "Artaserse"[17] with Cristiano Carotti and the project "Versus", a cinematic experiment in which the protagonist is involved in a futuristic encounter / clash with the art world.


  • Winner "Italian Factory" prize, Milan, IT (2008)[5][18]


  • Artaserse, directed by Versus, (film), IT (2020)[17]
  • Coocuyo, (film), Havana, CU (2017)[19]
  • Ahora si Llego!, (film), CU (2013)[20]
  • Me gusta soñar, (short film), CU (2013)[21]
  • They win on the sky, (short film), CU (2012)[6]
  • Bluesky, (short film), CU (2010)[6]
  • I love my Queen, (short film), IT (2009)[22]
  • Confabula Spurio, (short film), IT (2008)[4]
  • Beauty Hazard, (short film), IT (2007)[23]

Solo shows

  • Chernobyl 35 years later, Lieu City, Milan, IT (2021)[24]
  • Malebolge, former church San Michele Arcangelo, Amelia, IT (2019)[15]
  • Nirvana (Beauty Hazard 2007 | 2017), Fabbrica del Vapore, Milan, IT (2017)[25]
  • Beauty Hazard (2007/2017), CAOS Museum, Terni, IT (2017)[13]
  • Atomic Rocket, Fabbrica Borroni, Bollate, IT (2009)[26]
  • Corpo Ineffabile, Gualtieri Museum, Talamello, IT (2008)[27]
  • Confabula Spurio, Superstudio 13, Milan, IT (2008)[4]
  • Beauty Hazard, CAOS Museum, Terni, IT (2007)[23]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Until 23.VII.2017 Desiderio - Beauty Hazard 2007/2017 CAOS, Terni". (in italiano). Retrieved 2021-09-01.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Malebolge of Desiderio". (in italiano). Retrieved 2021-07-09.
  3. "Venice Biennale, Cuban Pavilion". (in italiano). Retrieved 2021-06-01.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 "Desiderio, Nirvana - Beauty Hazard 2017". (in italiano). 28 December 2017. Retrieved 2021-06-01.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Italian Factory makes way for young people". (in italiano). Retrieved 2021-09-01.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 "Desiderio on display at CAOS (video interview)". (in italiano). 19 May 2017. Retrieved 2021-07-09.
  7. ""Winds of freedom" with "Apocalypse wow!"". (in italiano). 8 November 2009. Retrieved 2021-07-09.
  8. "Browsing Beauty in La Habana". (in español). Retrieved 2021-07-09.
  9. "Ahora Sí Llego". Retrieved 2021-06-01.
  10. "Young filmmakers draw inspiration from Che's Latin American journey". (in español). Retrieved 2021-06-01.
  11. ""The king of pop surrealism" also made a film in Cuba, following in the footsteps of Che". (in italiano). 20 October 2013. Retrieved 2021-06-01.
  12. "Pio Alferano Award"." (in italiano). 23 July 2016. Retrieved 2021-09-01.
  13. 13.0 13.1 "The risks of beauty. The return of Desiderio in Terni". (in italiano). 17 June 2017. Retrieved 2021-09-01.
  14. "Nirvana? With Desiderio is at the Fabbrica del Vapore". (in italiano). Retrieved 2021-09-01.
  15. 15.0 15.1 "Desiderio and Dante's Malebolge". (in italiano). 12 October 2019. Retrieved 2021-06-01.
  16. "The possible worlds of the pop icon Desiderio". (in italiano). 4 December 2017. Retrieved 2021-06-01.
  17. 17.0 17.1 "Artaxerxes, art is the clash". (in italiano). 23 January 2020. Retrieved 2021-06-01.
  18. "Desiderio Sanzi wins Italian Factory Award 2008". (in italiano). Retrieved 2021-07-09.
  19. "Coocuyos: a portal for Cuban electronic music". (in español). Retrieved 2021-07-09.
  20. "Ahora Sí Llego". Retrieved 2021-07-09.
  21. "Me gusta Soñar. Desire on the trail of Felipe Cardeña". (in italiano). 17 April 2020. Retrieved 2021-07-09.
  22. "Desiderio First Gallery Roma". (in italiano). Retrieved 2021-07-09.
  23. 23.0 23.1 "Desiderio in Terni with a new "Beauty Hazard"". (in italiano). 14 June 2017. Retrieved 2021-07-09.
  24. "Chernobyl 35 years later. Desiderio's VR project for Lieu.City recalls this". (in italiano). 26 April 2021. Retrieved 2021-06-01.
  25. "Desiderio, Nirvana - Beauty Hazard 2017". (in italiano). 28 December 2017. Retrieved 2021-06-01.
  26. "Little Circus: Desiderio – Rock 10F Y". (in italiano). Retrieved 2021-07-09.
  27. "Simona Bramati / Desiderio – Corpo ineffabile". (in italiano). Retrieved 2021-07-09.

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