Born in Casoria, Naples, Italy, Giovanni Piesco completed his studies at the University Orientale of Naples, where he studied under Namkai Norbu Rinpoche. He graduated with a thesis on the History of Religions under the distinguished anthropologist Dr Alfonso Maria Di Nola.

From 1998 to 2001 he has been teaching Italian language at the Vrije Univeriteit in Amsterdam. Till 2013 he has been House Photographer by the Modern Art Foundation SBK in Amsterdam. Currently he publishes for newspapers, books, catalogues and magazines and also translates for the Fairlingo Vertaling Institute. 

In December 1985, Giovanni chanced upon the German artist Joseph Beuys at the opening of his final exhibition ‘Palazzo Regale’ at the Museum of Capodimonte in Naples a few months prior to his death. It was through this encounter that he discovered the expressive potentials of the words and of the camera. Subsequent meetings with other photographers were also of fundamental importance to him.

As a genuine Neapolitan, Giovanni is a son of a place made of fire and passion. Subterranean Naples is literally flooded with steaming hot lava because of the Mount Vesuvius in its backyard causing continuous tremors across the region. The blood that runs through the veins of its inhabitants reflects the ardour and intensity of the magma contained beneath its surface. This explosive cocktail is the heritage that Naples grants to everyone who knows how to recognize it and how to make it one’s own.

He carries this heritage within and transmits it through his photographs reaching far beyond Naples’ city walls. His portfolio constitutes a moving kaleidoscopic vision of the human race. All the faces in the ‘People’, ‘Untouchable Caste’ and ‘Portraits’ sections of this website reflect, through their eyes, a deep sense of humanity. They are inundated with smiles, laughter, crying, caring, love, hate, lust, blood and transpiration – full of the ironies associated with life and death – and become animated through the photographer’s eye, culminating in a Dantesque view of the world.

Jon Eiselin