Stefano Arienti was born in Asola, in the province of Mantua in 1961. After graduating in agricultural studies, he turned to art under the guidance of Corrado Levi, and made his debut in Milan in the mid Eighties at the Brown Boveri (a former factory that many young artists used as a meeting point for free experimentation).
He currently lives and works in Milan. Operating on "poor" and every day materials – which often include paper, books, pictures taken from postcards, posters or photocopies, as well as polystyrene, plastic, plasticine, fabrics – Arienti realizes surprising works, that induce the viewer to reflect on the concept of "wonder", prompting participation, through the use of manipulation too.
The numerous shows he has participated in include Venice Biennale (Aperto 1990, 1993); Istanbul Biennale (1992); Cocido y Crudo, Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid (1994); XII Rome Quadrennial, 1996 (winner of the first prize); Fatto in Italia, Centre d'Art Contemporain, Geneva; ICA, London (1997); Gwangju Biennale (2008).
Among his latest solo exhibitions: MAXXI, Roma (2004); Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin (2005); Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston (2007); Fondazione Querini Stampalia, Venice (2008); MAMbo, Bologna (con Cesare Pietroiusti, 2008); Palazzo Ducale, Mantua (2009); Museion, Bolzano (with Massimo Bartolini, 2011).