Biography & Early Works :    Biography   |   Early Works
Aldo Tambellini

Aldo Tambellini was born in Syracuse, New York in 1930, his father from Sao Paolo, Brazil, his mother from Italy. He was taken to Italy at the age of eighteen months where he lived in Lucca (Tuscany). At the age of ten, he was enrolled in art school in Lucca. His neighborhood was bombed during WWII; twenty-one of his friends and neighbors died and he miraculously survived. In 1946, Aldo returned to the United States. With a full scholarship at Syracuse University he received a BFA in Painting, ‘54 and a Teaching Fellowship at the University of Notre Dame, MFA ’59.

In 1959, Aldo moved to New York City’s Lower East Side. He founded the underground, “counter-culture” group, “Group Center,” which organized alternative ways and non-traditional presentation of the artists’ work to the public. He pioneered in the video art movement in the late 60’s. In 1965, he began painting directly on film beginning his “Black Film Series” of which, “Black TV,” (made using both film and video) was the winner of the International Grand Prix, Oberhausen Film Festival, 1969.

Photo: Richard Roderman

Simultaneously, Aldo began a series of “Electromedia Performances” which organically brought together, projected paintings, film, video, poetry, light, dance, sound and live musicians. He founded the Gate Theatre, the only daily public theatre showing avant-garde independent filmmakers and in 1967, he co-founded with Otto Piene, the Black Gate, a second theatre which presented live multi-media (Electromedia) performances and installations.

From 1976 to 1984, Aldo was a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Visual Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. There he conducted workshops and organized with “communicationsphere” a series of international interactive Media Communication Projects. Since ’84, he has concentrated on poetry and performing his poetry with music and video projection.

In 2005 Aldo produced a digital film, “Listen” which incorporates his anti-war and political poetry, animation/video and film clips. This film won First Place in the “Short Experimental Film by an Independent Filmmaker” category at the New England Film Festival in October 2005 and at the Syracuse International Film Festival in 2006. In 2007 Aldo was awarded the “Lifetime Achievement Award” from Syracuse University at the 2007 Syracuse International Film Festival. The same year he received the Keys to the City of Cambridge from Mayor Ken Reeves in recognition of his contribution to the cultural environment of Cambridge.

In 2010 Aldo was awarded a Gold medal from the Italian Government, Lucchesi Nel Mondo Organization, in recognition of his lifetime achievement in the Arts.

america made my brother
a total stranger
the unwritten law
divide & conquer
no conquests were made
but it created 2 remote
where blood from the same blood
splits its cells
each in its own container
separated completely
yet he’s only four years older
born under the same taurus sign
same mother same father
in the same city same land
in america
both taken to another land
we grew up together with mother
yet a century separating us
during war we shared the same
he inside the house
I laying face down on the street
people we both knew died
I was the incorrigible one
he was the studious one
went along with the time
I the wild one
who often without knowing why
each had his private war
art was in my blood from the beginning
he graduated in business administration
I faced the crisis at home
he did not
if I saw him right now
on the other side of the street
it would hurt me deeply to say
there goes my brother
america made him
a total stranger

October 15, 1990