Throughout history the art stained glass has always been considered an ecclesiastical craft and used to adorn the churches and cathedrals in the western world. Stained glass artist, Diego Tolomelli is the only artist in the world who has experimented with this craft and to introduce the genres of eroticism, gender and fetish to this art-form He has often been compared to Pierre et Gilles and Gilbert and George, but his true inspiration comes from Edward Burne Jones, Harry Clarke, Tiffany and a host of unknown medieval craftsmen.
Diego Tolomelli was born the 15th of August 1974 in Pavia, Italy.
After finishing studying to be a surveyor he discovered he wanted to follow an artistic route and decided to enrol onto a local stained glass course and it was here his passion for stained glass blossomed. .
Learning The Craft of Stained Glass
In 1998 Diego moved to London. While he was learning English there he began selling his stained glass work on a a small stall at Portobello market.
In the year 2000 he was recruited to John Hardman Studios, one of England’s most prestigious stained glass studios. Here, Diego worked on some spectacular commissions including:The Houses of Parliament Millennium Window, commissions for actress Elizabeth Taylor, the private collection of George Harrison and Saint Rose Cathedral in Tokyo.
Four years later Diego took a position at Norgrove Studios, and worked on many restorations of windows for churches and cathedrals across England and Wales.
After eight years in England, Diego moved move back to Italy and worked for Vetrate D’Arte Giuliani, again working on many religious commission, including some for the Vatican and the cathedral of Abuja, capital of Nigeria.
Ten years of honing his skills as a master craftsman after Diego Tolomelli opened IKO Studio in Rome, and three years later he and his studio moved to Umbria.
Diego continues to build his traditional stained glass business, IKO Studio
Diego moved from Rome to the Umbrian countryside near Orvieto. From his home he continues to push the boundaries of this art form and also teaches and impassions others in the art of stained glass.
first international exhibition of erotic stained glass at the Erotic Museum of Paris.
Mooiman Gallery, Holland recruits Diego as regular contributor.
The Erotic Stained Glass Adventure
Diego began to experiment with erotic stained glass in 2007, his work immediately won praise and encouragement from friends and colleagues and so he went on to make more erotic panels. Within a year he was asked to exhibit at Fagoff, a popular queer night project in Rome. The event was hosted in a nightclub and so his work was mounted into purpose built wall hung light-boxes – bringing erotic stained glass onto the dance-floor.
In same year he was asked to exhibit at Mario Mieli, Rome’s leading GLBT association.
Both events attracted a good deal of attention both in National and International press and he began to be commissioned by private collectors. First, two erotic stained glass panels for the erotic novelist William Maltese and then three large light mullion window for a Scottish collector, which depicted hard-core erotic scenes.
In 2008 Diego was a semi-finalist in the Erotic Signature competition and plates of his work “The Kiss” were published in the “The World’s Greatest Erotic Art of Today” volume 2.
A third private erotic stained glass exhibition followed in the Christmas of 2009 at Galleria Ferraro, on the doorstep of Vatican City and a collective exhibitions at Gallery Mondo Bizzarro, Popcorn and Circolo Degli Artisti.
In November 2013 Diego exhibited in a personal exhibition with 16 pieces at the Musèe de l’Erotisme (erotic museum) of Paris.
Since 2014 Diego has been collaborating with Mooiman Galerie in Holland participating to several exhibitions. His current and most ambitious project will be exhibited there in 2016 and will consist of over 6 square meters of stained glass depicting erotic versions of all the picture cards from French-style playing cards.
Press Interest in Diego’s Work
Press interest in his erotic stained glass work came from Italy, Europe and the USA. The subject matter coupled with the fact that stained glass was traditionally a religious art from, sparked interest. Diego Tolomelli has been covered in several publications.