Davide Mosconi was born in Milan in 1941. Enrolled at the G. Verdi music school in Milan where he studied piano and composing, he graduated in 1960. The following year he moved to London for two years where he studied photography at the London College of Printing. He frequented the avant-garde music scene. The music he played was already “contemporary”. A renowned jazz musician already in the 1960s, he went over to experimental, performance and ambient music. In 1963 he returned to Milan, but a year later he moved to New York for three years where he worked as the assistant of Richard Avedon and Hiro.
From the artistic point of view, his debut was classified as anti-design. Collaborating with Ugo La Pietra and the Global Tools group (which he would found in 1974), he was close to the radical experimentation of the Fluxus current of Milano Poesia (Milan Poetry), as well as being the travelling companion of the ironic and playful Bruno Munari.
He held his first solo exhibition, Il sogno di Davide (David’s Dream), at Galleria Il Diaframma in Milan in 1967. In 1968 he formed the “Quartetto” with Gustavo Bonora, Marco Cristofolini and Enzo Gardenghi, with whom he organised a lengthy series of live concerts, private events and studio recordings. In 1969 he founded the “Studio X” photographic and graphic studio, with which over the following years he would create advertising campaigns, fashion shoots and lifestyle reports. In 1970 he devised and created the photo book Design Italia ’70. In 1972 he took part in the exhibition Italy: The New Domestic Landscape at MoMA in New York with the short film Something to Believe In; two years later he was among the artists of Fotomedia, the exhibition that travelled between Dortmund and Milan, curated by Daniela Palazzoli. He continued his musical research through performances, partnerships with other musicians, improvisation and inventing new instruments. In the early 1980s, invited by Polaroid, he began to work with the new 51x61 cm oversize camera. In 1984 he presented In morte del padre (On the Father’s Death), the series of five “triptychs” for which he won the Polaroid Award; in 1997 he was given first prize for art photography by the prestigious International Center of Photography in London. Over these years he concentrated on artistic procedures entrusted to chance and the instant, working on the concepts of “contemporaneity” and “randomness”: the two most important works stemming from this were the photographic series Disegnare l’aria (Drawing Air) and Polveri (Dusts). He died in 2002.
His works have been displayed in prestigious institutions and galleries all over the world, amongst which the National Gallery in Brussels, the I.C.A. in London, the Guggenheim Foundation in Venice, the Venice Biennial (1991, 1993, 2001, 2003), the Rayburn Foundation in New York, and Galleria Milano (Milan, 1998, 1999, 2014) owned by Carla Pellegrini, which starting in 2006 hosted a series of concerts that attempted to perform all the pieces contained in the art book made by Davide and published by Do-Soul in 1989, LASTORIADELLAMUSICADIDAVIDEMOSCONI (THESTORYOFDAVIDMOSCONI’SMUSIC). Davide Mosconi: fotografia, musica e design, Edizioni Tip.Le.Co., Milan 2014, a biography of the artist written by Elio Grazioli has just come out.