Agostino Arrivabene was born in Rivolta d’Adda, in the province of Cremona, Italy on 11 June 1967. He graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts of Brera in 1991. He then travelled to various Italian and international cities seeking out the work of the Old Masters, deepening his knowledge of his craft, and bringing to bear a great influence upon the future development of his own artwork.
Thus began Agostino’s never ending exploration of traditional artistic techniques, from painting to graphics and engraving. Arrivabene usually prefers to paint with oils on wood or canvas, but will at times work with tempera to achieve unusual creations with an ancient, medieval or even Renaissance flavour. Often he will use very valuable pigments made by hand.
He is very much inspired by the aura of mystery that surrounds the Old Masters such as Jan van Eyck, Leonardo da Vinci and Albrecht Dürer. Arrivabene creates visions of the ancient rich in symbolism, drawing upon subjects dear to him -“animals, natural wonders, landscapes, vanitates, still lifes and portraits – depicting imaginary worlds, that the artist himself defines as “a modern virtual Wunderkammern. ”
His first solo exhibition – titled “Exploration“, was held at the Church of Santa Maria at Source, in his native county of Rivolta d’Adda – Brera, immediately after graduating in 1992. This was the first in a consistent line of solo exhibitions; “Memory and Desire” (1994) and “The Secret art of Agostino Arrivabene” (1998), until the most recent “Mirabilia Naturae” (2005) and “The Dying Sun in the Blue Room” (2007) . From the Nineties onward represent the beginning of an intense period of activity, with included many group exhibitions as well as being represented at contemporary art fairs, Bologna Art Fair, Art Padua, and MiArt ArtVerona.
As a winner of the International Amateur d’Estampes Leonardo Sciascia, Agostino Arrivabene became widely known for his drawings and his etchings. This lead to numerous exhibitions, such as that held in 1995 at the Biblioteca Comunale Sormani Palace in Milan.
Through contact with famous Italian Art reviewer Vittorio Sgarbi, Agostino participated in many important exhibitions patronized by Sgarbi himself.
- “Padanian Surrealism: from De Chirico to Foppiani” at the Palazzo Gotico in Piacenza, 2002, an itinerant art show later moved to Revoltella Museum in Trieste;
- “The Evil. Some Cruel training on Paint”, at the magnificent location of Stupingi Castle in Torino, 2005;
- “The Inner Portrait: from Lotto to Pirandello” at the chambers of Archaeological Museum in Aosta, 2005;
- “The foreboding of the face: from Tiziano to De Chirico” at the new suggestive Interior of Popolare Bank in Lodi, 2006.
- “Be Gone. Art and Homosexuality: from Von Gloeden to Pierre et Giles”;
- “Italian Art 1968-2007”, respectively shown at Palazzo della Ragione and Palazzo Reale in Milan, 2007.
In summer 2011 Arrivabene was presented at the Italian Pavilion of 54° Biennale of Venice.
On 29 June 2013, the Panorama Museum in Bad Frankenhausen, Germany, exhibited his first retrospective exhibition.
- Agostino Arrivabene – Dipinti 1988-2001, Bocca Editore, Milano, 2001
- Agostino Arrivabene – Isterie Plutnoiche, Umberto Allemandi & C., 2011