Damiano Bertoli 1969–2021
In September, artist Damiano Bertoli passed away unexpectedly at the age of 52. Bertoli was a staple in the Melbourne art community. He could be relied upon to regularly attend openings and see most exhibitions. Along the way, he would dish out wit, sarcasm and charm. Seeing him across a crowded room, he would go cross-eyed as a form of greeting, breaking the ice with humour. Bertoli had a rich and expansive artistic practice, spanning collage, film, sculpture, installation, even theatre, but he was equally known for his large personality. In preparation for this piece, I spoke to several of Bertoli’s closest friends who had many things to say about him, but some underlying themes proved unanimous. He possessed a great sense of curiosity and generosity; he loved sharing knowledge; he built rich relationships with others through engagement with art; and that he has left behind a massive legacy—albeit one that could have been much, much bigger.