Welcome to the Iabo world© - Contemporary Art
Born in Naples in 1980, since the early nineties IABO has been a graffiti artist, at that time being an exponent of the famous Neapolitan crews (KTM, KiTa’ Muort and 13Bastardi). Over the years, he got closer and closer to the world of art. Since 1997, his artistic curiosity lead him to venture outside Europe, to the United States. In New York and Los Angeles he came into contact with the underground scene and artists, but kept a strong bond with Naples, the city where he still lives and works.
In 2003 he enrolled at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Naples, where he attended a painting course. In 2009 he graduated with the highest distinction in Visual Arts. In 2004 he launched his first solo exhibition, Wild at heart,
in Rome, in the exhibition space LOL moda arte e design. It was still 2004 when he adorned the Gianturco railway station in Naples, under the Circumwriting project, curated by Evoluzioni, featuring Achille Bonito Oliva.
In 2005 presented his work at the XII Biennial of Young Artists from Europe and the Mediterranean, curated by
Gigiotto Del Vecchio, in Castel Sant’ Elmo, Naples. In the same period, he also presented his work at the 100 artists for a Museum permanent collection, at the CAM Museum in Casoria
In 2006, after several illegal incursions into the art galleries in Naples, he organised an exhibition-event: EN1 (Esprit
Nouveau), his first solo exhibition in Naples, in the NOT Gallery; the same year, he launched another solo exhibition, Segni di Vita, in the exhibition space of the BAD Bunker Art Division. Furthermore, he participated in international contemporary art fairs, including Arte fiera (Bologna), MiArt (Milan), Artour-o (Shanghai, China), and in Florence, where he is awarded the first prize MFL (Maria Fulvia Leopizzi). Immediately after, he participated in the Modern Contemporary Art Fair in Rome, presenting his artworks in the space for Under 35s.
In 2007 he launched a new solo exhibition entitled Reazione in catena in the NOT Gallery. During a series of night incursions, IABO is caught in-the-act by the Director of the PAN Museum, Julia Draganovic. This encounter gave rise to his participation in the Emergency room project, by Thierry Geoffroy, as well as the solo exhibition at the Fondazione SDN in Naples, under the Il sabato delle idee project, curated by Julia Draganovic.
In 2008 he participated in several collective exhibitions: Sistema Binario (Mergellina railway station, Naples/Belgrade
Railway Station, Belgrade); Camera con Vista, an exhibition created by the Istituto Italiano di Cultura di Belgrado, in
collaboration with Pan | Palazzo delle Arti Napoli, and Galleria Ozone; Scala Mercalli il terremoto della street art Italiana, curated by Gianluca Marziani at the Auditorium Parco della Musica, in Rome.
2009 was marked by the solo exhibition curated by NOT Gallery, at Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome, inside the
exhibition Roma the road to contemporary art, where he was acclaimed by both critics and press. He is the creator of the performance/protest Madre Snaturata, held outside the MADRE Museum.
2010 was a year of research and change: another journey to the States was the occasion for a performance (pirate) Pizza a Portfolio, inside the spaces of some of the most prestigious contemporary art exhibitions in the world, such as: Armory Show, Volta Pulse, in New York City. He was finalist running for the 2010 Premio Celeste award, and his Opera da Freezer is exhibited in the Fondazione Brodbeck, in Catania.
In 2011 he was invited to participate in the 54th edition of the Biennale di Venezia, curated by Vittorio Sgarbi at the Italian Pavilion, in the Campania region section, held in the spaces of the CAM Museum, with his work RiMorsi. At the same time, he launched two solo shows with his new cycle (oversize) S/orridi at the Spazio San Giorgio Gallery, in Bologna, and Cartoni Animali, curated by Mara De Falco, in the space of Nicola Pedana Arte Contemporanea, in Caserta. The year 2011 ended with the open-air installation I like Naples, for the Luminaria 03 exhibition, on the façade of Palazzo San Giacomo, seat of the Town Hall of Naples.
In 2012 IABO, after spending three months in London, returned to Naples for a new solo exhibition, a site-specific
project for the urban design in Brin69, curated by Vulcanica Architettura.
In 2013 he decided to stop his activities and withdraw from the scene for one year, in order to explore music, specifically rap music.
In 2015 IABO returned to the national art scene, as well as to his social media and official website, but this time adding to his name the word World, thus becoming IABO WORLD, with a refreshed design, a new logo and vision, to express his creativity without boundaries. He returned to exhibit, with his participation in the collective show Homage, at the Contempop Gallery in New York. Together with the artist Roxy in The Box, he created the duo CompariSoda who did work in the city, stencil art works combining famous characters and brands, with a renovated sense (Brandisism and InFamous periods). Right afterwards, he launched a new collective exhibition in the Galleria Pisacane, in Milan, with a series of his Leitmotiv classics. In Città della Scienza in Naples, Jägermeister asked
him to live paint an oversized artwork, during the Jäger House event. This piece of art later became part of the Jägermeister collection of the world.
In 2016 he displayed his artworks at the prestigious Saatchi Gallery in London, during the Start art Fair, and presented some of his works from the brand new Core Identity period. At the same time, he was asked to participate in the The silk road exhibition, curated by Alessandro Riva and Ji Saofeng, in Castel dell’Ovo, Naples. He also took part in the exhibition entitled Arte al Castello - da Andy Warhol alla nuova Pop Art in Castello di Jerago, with his pieces of art being displayed next to the artworks of the main exponent of Pop Art in the world. In the meantime, the book entitled Atlante dell’arte Contemporanea a Napoli e in Campania 1966-2016, edited by
Electa and curated by Vincenzo Trione, is presented at MADRE Museum, and contains some pages dedicated to IABO’s art. By the end of the year, he entered into an exclusive contract with the Art 3035 Gallery in Amsterdam.
In 2017 he took part in the Affordable Art Fair - Amsterdam, with the same exhibition, thanks to which his art began to access private collections all over the world.
The year 2018 opened with a new solo show entitled War Brands/Brands war, held in January at the Superstudio più, inside the Affordable Art Fair – Milano contemporary art fair, and on the same occasion the catalogue of the exhibition was presented.
2019 was a year rich in exhibitions, events, performances and happenings. The 8th and 9th of February, IABO was
invited to paint the walls inside the Fondazione FOQUS, in Quartieri Spagnoli, Naples, during the ST.AR.T - Street art, Comunità e Territorio convention, and he paid homage to Don Pedro de Toledo, viceroy of Naples, with a large mural painting. This painting is so successful that INWARD-Osservatorio sulla Creatività Urbana decided to reproduce Don Pedro as limited edition and hand it out to the inhabitants of Quartieri Spagnoli, as part of an event in May, documented by television channel Rai TG3 Campania. This event ended with the donation of the
Don Pedro canvas to the Spanish Embassy in Rome, in the presence of Luigi De Magistris, Mayor of Naples, and Alfonso Dastis, Ambassador of Spain. On the 8th and 9th of May, his works were displayed in an
important collective show dedicated to the international urban art, Everything starts somewhere, next to the most important Street Artists of recent years, such as Banksy, Keith Haring and Obey, in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Right afterwards, on the 11th of May, he launched a new solo exhibition entitled I want to be an artist in the spaces of the Rosso20sette Arte Contemporanea gallery in Rome, accompanied by its catalogue. His paintings have accessed overseas private collections, precisely in New York, such as Spike Lee and Annabella Sciorra collections. He painted a huge mural painting inside the renowned Hotel/Hostel bar Neapolitan Trips in Naples, that portrays one of his leitmotiv Banksy sucks (Jean-Michel Basquiat), in collaboration with Neapolitan Republic and K-Birr. On the 12th of September, in his reference gallery in Netherlands, Art 3035 Gallery in Amsterdam, he launched a new solo exhibition entitled Core Identity, curated by Luca Beatrice and Ginevra Russo, and immediately after he was
invited to participate in the collective show UrbanRoom- street artist italiani in mostra, curated by Inward-Osservatorio sulla Creatività Urbana, inside the spaces of Treccani Campania, in
In January 2020 Eav and Inward chose him for the CREAV le stazioni dell’arte project to paint a large mural artwork on the external façade of the Circumvesuviana railway station in Brusciano. In the same period, he was asked to display his artworks at the collective exhibition entitled Urban Room Street artisti italiani in mostra, curated by Inward, at the Treccani Campania spaces, in Naples. The Nunziatella Military School of Naples, for its anniversary, asked IABO to pay tribute to its students with his most famous profiles, in a print run of 200 copies, all sold out in 24 hours. A part of the proceeds was donated to the Nunziatella School. In December, during the TV show called Uno Mattina, Rai1 broadcast a special report onIABO and the world of the Street Art.
In 2021, to his great surprise and excitement, IABO won the San Gennaro Day award, which rewards excellence in Naples. During the same year, he was asked to take part in the first edition of Voluminosa – primo circuito di street art in scultura, a journey in the urban art, culture, traditions and local history, curated by INWARD and promoted by the Municipality of Palma Campania. Under this project, near the entrance of Borgo Castello, he made Verismo Palmese, a sculpture to honour the painter Pietro Salvatore Caliendo, who was born in Palma Campania, the 5th of January 1877, was a friend of Picasso and source of pride for the region. With a surface of almost 4000 sq. m. and a space of 11x30 m. for each artist, Art&More Street Art in Via Caracciolo involved nine Neapolitan artists, including IABO, who participated in the project with his work entitled LGBTQ, which portrays Batman and Robin
who finally love each other freely.
In 2022 he presented the work Do-it-yourself - Urban kit Experience at the GLO flagship store in Milan. During the
exposition ArtDays Napoli Campania, he was invited as a guest to the talk entitled NFT & Crypto arte: Sfide, rivoluzioni e paradossi, at the MADRE museum in Naples. In 2022 he also started planning his first retrospective, IABO 20th. Mostra Antologica 2003-2023. Street art / Dipinti / Installazioni / video, presented by Dadart, curated by Annalisa Ferraro, under the patronage of the Municipality of Naples. It will be launched on
the 27th of January 2023, at PAN Palazzo delle di Arti Napoli.
2019: Core Identity / Art 3035 Gallery / Amsterdam / NL
2019: I want to be an artist / Rosso27 Arte contemporanea / Rome / Italy
2018: War Brands / Superstudio più / AAF / Milan / Italy
2013: Parking art / Brin 69 / Naples / Italy
2011: S/orridi / Spazio San Giorgio / Bologna / Italy
2011: Cartoni animali / Nicola Pedana Arte contemporanea / Caserta / Italy
2011: Luminaria / Palazzo San Giacomo / Naples / Italy
2010: Pizza a Portfolio / Aromry Show / Pulse / Volta NY / New York / USA
2009: Il sabato delle idee / Fondazione Sdn / Naples / Italy
2009: Iabo / Roma the road to contemporary art / Palazzo delle Esposizioni / Rome / Italy
2007: Reazione in Catena / Not Gallery / Naples / Italy
2006: Esprit Nouveau /Not Gallery/ Naples/ Italy
2006: Segni di Vita / Bad Museum / Naples / Italy
2004: Wild at Heart / Lol / Rome / Italy
2019: Urban Room - Street Artist italiani in mostra / Treccani Campania -Inward / Naples / Italy
2019: Everything starts somewhere / Art 3035 Gallery / Amsterdam / NL
2019: Neapolitan Republic / Neapolitan Trips / Naples / Italy
2019: ST.AR.T - Street art, Comunità e Territorio / Fondazione FOQUS / QS / Naples / Italy
2016: Arte al Castello - da Andy Warhol alla nuova pop art / Castello di Jerago / Italy
2016: 7PLYPROJECT / Contemporary Art Center Thessaloniki CACT Museum / Greece
2016: The silk road / Castel dell'Ovo / Naples / Italy
2016: Saatchi Gallery - Start / Saatchi Gallery / London / UK
2016: 5 Pointz Italy - Festival delle culture metropolitane / Polignano a mare / Bari / Italy
2016: Jäger House - Jägermeister / Città della Scienza / Naples / Italy
2016: Galleria Pisacane / Milan / Italy
2016: Contempop gallery / New York / USA
2015: Maam Museo dell'altro e dell'altrove / Roma / Italy
2012: 54. Biennale di Venezia / Museo Cam / Casoria / Italy
2010: San Severo Lab / PAN Palazzo delle arti Napoli / Naples / Italy
2010: Toy Tano / Purp Shop / Naples / Italy
2009: 44+1 AutoRItratti / The Don Gallery / Milan / Italy
2009: Emergency room / PAN Palazzo delle arti Napoli / Naples / Italy
2008: Camera con vista / Palazzo Italia / Belgrade / Serbia
2008: December project / Not Gallery / Naples / Italy
2008: 12x12 visual art / PAN Palazzo delle arti Napoli / Naples / Italy
2008: Camera con Vista / PAN Palazzo delle arti Napoli / Naples / Italy
2008: Scala Mercalli il terremoto della street art Italiana / A. Parco della Musica Rome
2008: 41+1 Autoritratti / Auditorium Parco della Musica / Rome Italy
2008: Sistema Binario / Stazione della metropolitana di Mergellina Napoli - Belgrado
2008: 12x12 Visual Art / PAN Palazzo delle arti Napoli / Naples / Italy
2008: Open Space Under 35 Arte Contemporanea Moderna Roma / Rome / Italy
2007: Bazarone prima rassegna di arte urbana / Lanificio 25 / Naples / Italy
2007: A3 Visual street art / Not Gallery / Naples > Bologna / Italy
2006: Quarantotto Segnalibri / Casina Pompeiana / Naples / Italy
2006: Canzanomalia - Eterotopie / Palazzo Maraschi / Teramo / Italy
2006: Heroes / Not gallery / Naples / Italy
2005: XII Biennale dei giovani artisti / Castel Sant’Elmo Naples Italy
2005: 100 artist for a museum / Cam Museum / Naples / Italy
2005: Quarantotto segnalibri / galleria d’ arte Sangiorgio / Naples / Italy
2004: Artenope - circumwriting / Castellammare di Stabia / Italy
2004: Circumwriting / Naples / Italy
2003: Sogno Comune / galleria Lia Rumma - libreria Feltrinelli / Naples / Italy
2010: Premio Celeste (finalista) VII edizione / Fondazione Bordbeck / Catania Italy
2008: Premio Terna (Finalista 1° edizione) / Rome Italy
2008: 1° Premio “Mfl” / Artour-o / Firenze / Italy
2004: Diesel Wall (finalista) premio di arte temporanea / Milan / Italy
2018: Affordable Art Fair / Art 3035 gallery / Milan / Italy
2017: Affordable Art Fair / Art 3035 gallery / Amsterdam / NL
2016: Start / Saatchi Gallery / London / UK
2012: Baf Bergamo arte fiera / Bergamo / Italy
2010: Armory show / New York (USA)
2010: Tarì / Caserta / Italy
2010: Arte Fiera Art First Bologna / Bologna / Italy
2009: Roma the road to contemporary art / Rome / Italy
2008: Preview Berlin / Berlin / Germany
2008: Arte Contemporanea Moderna Roma / Rome / Italy
2008: Artour-o / Florence / Italy
2007: Artur-o / Shanghai / Cina
2007: MiArt / Milan / Italy
2007: Arte Fiera Art First Bologna / Bologna / Italy
2006: MiArt / Milan / Italy
2006: Arte Fiera Art First Bologna / Bologna / Italy
They wrote about him
Luca Beatrice, Alessandro Riva, Gianluca Marziani, Julia Draganovic, Eugenio Viola, Adriana Rispoli, Gigiotto Del Vecchio
Vincenzo Bergamene, Ninì Sgambati, Luca Borriello, Helga Marsala, Anita Pepe, Olga Scotto di Vettimo, Mara De Falco, Marco Izzolino, Silvia Rosini, Ginevra Russo, Fabio Pariante, Michele Luca Nero, Mimmo Domenico Di Caterino, Mara Budgen, Rosella Gallo, Alessandro Chetta, Mario Francesco Simeone, Federico Vacalebre, Giorgio Salzano.