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Antonio Riello’s – Ladies Weapons

Antonio Riello was born in 1958, in Italy, in a little medieval town called Marostica
near Venezia. Now he divides his life between Marostica, Milano, and Amsterdam. After
high school he earned a degree in Pharmaceutical Chemistry from Padova University.
He also has a degree in Architecture from Venezia University. After his studies, he
decided to travel around the world working hand-to-mouth with various odd jobs. These
jobs included working in a Sadomasochist club in Zurich-CH and as a magician for a
German television show. Now he is a professor of “videogame aesthetics and related
matters”. He teaches in Italy and abroad.

Since the beginning of his artistic career, he wanted to be a social reporter investigating
his immediate environment. He is particularly interested in the “dark sides” of Italian
contemporary life. His artistic inquiries examine: prostitution, criminal scenes,
bad tricks, “shortcuts for happiness”, “home killers”, mafia activities and domestic
crimes against women and children.

Following the concept of “Ladies Weapons”, Riello has begun a similar project called
“Ladies Armors”. Using plastic, steel and kevlar, he intends to create body armor
for women as elegant and effective as the weapons.

“In 1998 I decided to focus my artistic research mainly about a “fashion-fiction”
visual story regarding an old passion of mine: weapons – objects full of symbolic
senses. I want to mix, in an artistic way, traditional ‘female stuff’ like fashion
with very traditional ‘male stuff’ like guns. It consists in a restyling of real military
weapons into fashion items for ladies”.

Every weapon is one of a kind and named after a woman who has been important in Riello’s
life. Say hello to “HELENA”.

Riello uses real military weapons to create his works: assault rifles, pistols, sub
machine guns, hand grenades, rocket launchers, etc. He uses weapons from many armies:
Russian Kalashnikov, American M-16, Italian Beretta, Israeli UZI and Galil, German
HK 33, etc.

“Using leopard skins, brightly lacquered colors, inset jewels and fake furs, I create
a range of specialized items for wives of mafia bosses, arms dealers, sophisticated
ladies and exigent soldiers… hybrids born from Italian obsession for high fashion
as well as for violence”.

Found on


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