Carlo Sampietro is an Italian artist based in New York City. Sampietro enjoyed a successful career as an art and creative director at advertising agencies in London, Milan and New York before shifting focus to contemporary art. In 2010, he exhibited his first major series The Street is in The House, a body of work that transmutes elements of urban life into objets d’art, in a guerilla-style pop-up galley on the Lower East Side. Sampietro harnessed objects that outlived their original uses, were discarded, reclaimed and renovated: traffic barrels became plush lounge chairs. Police barricades transformed into minimalist table legs; tabloid newspaper dispensers doubled as fully functional dishwashing machines, chilled wine storage units, elaborately staged dioramas and fish tanks. In these early works, Sampietro dismantles established value structures and elements of social control, communicating his ideas via a visual language based on high design, hybridity and humor.
Sampietro’s investigation into facets of the urban condition continues with PopDogs, an ongoing art installation/action first exhibited at The Red Dot Art Fair (Miami) last winter. The work is a gargantuan edifice—a popcorn machine that spews plastic dogs at an alarming rate—a symbolic parallel to canine overpopulation in urban centers as the catastrophic result of human ignorance and the immutability of desire. PopDogs is slated to appear in NYC and travel to Paris, Shanghai and Rio.
Sampietro’s ability to reshape common objects into meaningful amalgams has quickly garnered the artist critical acclaim. Since his self-produced debut in 2010, his work has appeared in exhibitions at 3rdWard (NYC), Galleria Rossana Orlandi (Milan), the Museum of Design (Como), One Art Space (NYC). Sampietro also received the prestigious Celeste Prize in 2010 and the A’ Design Award in 2011.