Edoardo Monti has always been collecting art. Or at least since he was 14 years old. In the past decade and a half, Monti’s passion for contemporary art has evolved into a full time commitment – Palazzo Monti, an artist residency program in Brescia, Lombardy. First glimpse of the 13th century palace, and it looks like the set for a fairytale- a gorgeousy carved marble staircase, elaborately frescoed ceilings and walls, and lots of light, but when you walk into any room you are clearly in the 21st century century with some Rococo flair.
There is nothing better than explaining a piece of work in the studio where it was made and by the person that made it.
Contemporary art is conceptually a living organism whose enjoyment requires almost every sense. It’s about gut reaction and storytelling. It’s about the mood you bring into the space and the mood the space transports you. And there is no better way to experience than than visiting an artist residency program where you come face to face with the how’s, why’s and real time of art making.
Palazzo Monti is home to a group of no more than 6 artists, and Monti himself, who work, eat, sleep and hang out together in a full immersion art experience with the aim of giving these artists full freedom to create. At any given time, there are approximately six artists living, eating and working at Palazzo Monti, as well as Monti himself. It’s a full immersion art experience, with the aim of giving these artists full freedom to create. The residency is free – living and studio spaces for all participants who only have to donate a single artistic creation which becomes part of Palazzo Monti’s permanent collection. Doors are open to visitors throughout the year, and every few months, the Palazzo hosts solo and group exhibitions, which again are full immersion art experiences that include concerts, performances, dinners and studio visits.
A convenient 35-minute direct train from Milan, Monti considers Brescia “the perfect location. Peaceful, but not fully removed from contemporary life.” Monti, who studied and worked in London and then New York as social media director for Stella McCartney, grew up in near by Bergamo. His family acquired the Brescia palazzo in the early 2000s, and in 2017, he converted to a contemporary art residency.