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Pietro Psaier Wikipedia Page

The Wikipedia biography for Pietro Psaier went through various revisions, additions and deletions as objections were made in regard to its claims. A record of who contributed which details to the original Wikpedia page was listed on its revision history page. However, the revision page has since been removed. The original revision history was here.

By the time the biography was finally removed, many of the claims had already been taken off the page, but an earlier version of the page can be found below. Eventually the entire page was deleted by Wikipedia. The "articles for deletion" debate took place here.

Background information can be found here.

Pietro Psaier
Born: 1936 Rome Italy
Died: December 26, 2004
Sri Lanka
Nationality: Italian
Training: Italian Cultural Centre
Movement: Pop Art
Awards: 1973, Italian-American Institute of Art

Pietro Psaier (1936 — 2004) was born in Italy. Psaier was better known for his Pop art and can be closely linked to Andy Warhol where he worked at his studio "The Factory", in New York often collaborating on pieces with Warhol. A joint exhibition of Psaier and Warhol in the 1970s included an electric chair owned by Warhol, which sold at auction for £4,800 in 1997.


The paintings, drawings and assorted works by Psaier cannot be truly assembled into any chronological sequence, but into groups that for most part can be described as sets of formal problems.

Early career

During the late 1950s Pietro Psaier worked with his father on concept cars designs for Enzo Ferrari.

The 1960s

On October 27th 1962 his mentor, the Italian industrialist, Enrico Mattei died in a mysterious plane crash.

Feeling lost in post-war Italy the young Pietro relocated to Madrid during the dark Franco era. The artist explored the world of classical bull fighting. He created his own style of art known as Toro Pop. Psaier produced a Tijuana Bible exhibition. The erotica works in the exhibition were seized by Franco's Guardia Civil on the orders of the Catholic Church. Psaier was arrested and imprisoned and subsequently deported back to Italy.

On Psaier's return to Italy his artistic work became destructive, anarchistic, political and spiritual. So different from other artists working at this time.

In the summer of 1963 Pietro Psaier travelled to Mexico City and made his way to California. In the Santa Monica Mountains he met hippy surfer Rick Griffin. Griffin was living in the Topanga Canyon where he created 'Murph the Surf, the cartoon character well known to all Californian Surfers in the 1960s. Rick Griffin gave Psaier refuge in his log cabin. Psaier and Griffin collaborated, sharing ideas, which formed a working method and encompassed social interaction with California's multi-faceted underground art circle. A timeline of Rick Griffin's life by Gordon McClelland, published in "Heart and Torch, Rick Griffin's Transcendence" by the Laguna Art Museum indicates that in early 1963 Griffin lived in Laguna Beach and worked for Surfer Magazine. Griffin was severely injured in an automobile accident in October, and after a lengthy recovery, he returned to work at Surfer magazine in 1964. He enrolled later that year at Chouinard Art Institute and lived in downtown Los Angeles. In 1967 Griffin moved to San Francisco and produced the first of his now famous psychedelic event/dance posters. There is no evidence that Rick Griffin ever met or worked with Psaier, except for some collages Psaier made from Griffin's published posters.

Being at the height of the San Francisco Flower Power era many had become immersed into a drug haze and their art would have a powerful voice. Their work developed into concert posters with a Twilight Zone, Anti-Vietnam War or Rock and Roll flavour, which would grace the bedrooms of thousands of young people the world over.

Later Psaier moved to New York. Whilst working as a waiter in the Greenwich Village The Gaslight Cafe he met Andy Warhol. Warhol nicknamed him “Peter the Italian” and they worked and remained friends until the late 1960s. Although Warhol needed to trace and use a light box Psaier was a skilled artist with watercolours, oils and pencil. Psaier produced layouts, silk-screens and joint works at Warhol’s studio “The Factory” though few artistic or financial rewards would come his way.

Some critics say that without Psaier and fellow artist Rupert Jasen Smith in the background, Warhol could never have produced and maintained production of the Factory commercial output but with both dignity and style both men chose not to take the limelight from Warhol.

The 1970s

Pietro Psaier was an artist's artist. As the late Andy Warhol commented, its not where Psaier is going, its where he has been. A visit to Psaier’s GARDEN OF EDEN – subtle ‘Agony in the garden’ Psaier’s ‘Adam and Eve’ are deeply rooted in the seedy realities of life. The apple is replaced by a ‘drug’ the location is relic of a public toilet with broken plumbing and dirty walls. Psaier is trying to encompass his shocking, but marvellous cantos of darkness and shows us the other side of life.

During the 1970s Psaier was commissioned by famous stars from the Music and Film business. Works were produced for Keith Moon, Oliver Reed, Michael Caine, Mick Jagger to name a few.

The 1980s

Psaier travels to Tibet and Nepal during the mid 1980s allowed him to live a life far away from financial problems with Agents and Lawyers in both
Rome and Los Angeles.

The 1990s

At the beginning of the 1990s a still growing body of fantastic images filled many of Pietro Psaier’s studio sketch books in Los Angeles and Madrid.

The Millennium

In September 2004, Pietro Psaier was asked by Our Lady of Malibu Church, high above the Malibu coastline to exhibit his highly acclaimed The Passion of the Christ. Mel Gibson had built a chapel on his ranch hidden away on the Malibu Cyn. The series of sixteen oil on canvas are the last known works to have been created by the artist.

1. The Independent, Sept 11, 1997.
See also [links]
Rick Griffin
Frida Kahlo
Andy Warhol
The Factory
Pietro Psaier & Andy Warhol press release [This was a link to John Nicholson's original press release]

[My note: The reason that the "references" section had links to the Wikipedia pages for Rick Griffin, Frida Kahlo, Andy Warhol and The Factory, was because somebody had added the name of "Pietro Psaier" to their Wikipedia pages, claiming that Psaier had painted Kahlo and had been a part of Warhol's Factory. For instance, the Warhol biography in Wikipedia originally claimed "Other members of Warhol's Factory crowd included Freddie Herko, Ondine, Ronald Tavel, Mary Woronov, Pietro Psaier, Billy Name, and Brigid Berlin..." This was then repeated in Warhol biographies in publications like the Kuwati Times and on other websites as though it were fact.

Similarly the addition of Psaier's name to the Frida Kahlo page of Wikipedia resulted in him also appearing in Kahlo's biography on the Art Info site which states "Many Chicana/o artists have included versions of her self portraits in their work, among them Rupert García, Alfredo Arreguín, Yreina D. Cervántez, Pietro Psaier, Marcos Raya, Gilbert Hernandez, and Carmen Lomas Garza." Interestingly, Psaier is included as a Chicano artist when, in fact, he is supposed to be Italian. Psaier's name was later removed from the Wikipedia entries after my objections but still appears in biographies on other sites. gc]

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