I was born in Rome, Italy, were I lived until I was 20. I always liked to read, draw and dreamed of traveling the world. I could not study Art, as I wished, so I graduated with a degree in science. At 20 I left Italy to see the rest of the world. I lived in Paris, in Tangier, in Amsterdam, but mostly in London, where I started to draw seriously and to sell small illustrations to underground magazines. After two years in London, I left for Africa with the intention to travel around the world overland. I traveled through North and East Africa, from Egypt to Kenya, on boats, lorries, and fourth class trains. I had a few small jobs, teaching English mostly, and after a year, I boarded as ship boy the vessel that fortnightly from Mombasa went to Bombay, through the Seychelles Islands and Karachi. When I finally disembarked in Bombay, the present Mumbai, all my remaining money was stolen, so I decided to go to Goa, where I knew I would find friends of friends from London, and where I spent my first monsoon drawing and painting. I could not find the felt-tips that I was accustomed to use, so I started using watercolors and brushes. For the following years I moved with the seasons from India, Nepal and South East Asia. I supported myself and my traveling selling watercolor paintings, mostly to tourists, and fresco painting bars and discothèques (discos). When things got more complicated, I had very reluctantly to go back to Italy. Back in Rome, over ten years after I left, I stopped painting altogether, I had a child to raise, so I accepted any odd job: I ran a bookshop, worked as librarian, as translator and I was offered a consultancy for the U.S. Library of Congress that took me back and from Rome to Washington and New York, to give lectures on the Italian “gray” literature, there is the technical-scientific and not commercial literature. I was sure that painting was a thing of the past, until 2009, when many years after I stopped, and thanks also to the new social forums, I reconnected with the past and started painting and traveling again. I returned as a tourist where I had spent my twenties and thirties for a healthy journey into my past, and I resumed illustrating and adding colors to my emotions, dreams, nightmares and to all that crosses my mind. In 2011 I moved to Monte Porzio Catone, an hillside town an the Alban Hills, in the outskirts of Rome, where I presently live and work, and where I might have finally found my home.
All content copyright 2015 © Giuliano Bottali.