photo of horses by Libero Antonio Di Zinno

profile / alumni / photography-and-imaging
March 20, 2019

Full Circle: Meet Director Libero Antonio Di Zinno

ArtCenter: What are you working on right now?
Libero Antonio Di Zinno (BFA 89 Photography), director:
I’ve blessed to be on the inside of a brilliant project, Endangered Activism. I got pulled in by Shannon Galpin, my esteemed partner in Mountain2Mountain, a nonprofit focused on helping women and children in Afghanistan. Now, we are working with the next generation of activists following Shannon’s daughter Devon, 12, who’s pursuing her own passion of protecting the big cats. We’ve spent a year traveling with Devon who is being home-schooled around the world to meet artists, athletes and researchers.

AC: What have been some of the most memorable twists and turns in your professional/creative journey after graduating ArtCenter?
LZ: Following my passion for storytelling into motion pictures from still photography has been the greatest adventure. It has allowed me a kind of passport into the lives of people that I admire, respect and am fascinated with.

AC: What’s been the most unexpected or valuable takeaway from your ArtCenter education?
LZ: The most unexpected thing was that I would be asked to return to speak, share and teach at my alma mater after the reputation I made for being kind of an upstart/disrupter myself … to say the least! It has turned out to be one of the most rewarding experiences in my life. Also, partnering with fellow alum Mariana Prieto on her new enterprise The Design for Wildlife Collective — working with her is a perfect example of how teaching can ultimately lead to collaboration!

Libero Antonio Di Zinno

Success is having the freedom to choose the subjects and projects to fulfill one’s curiosity, passions and then share these stories.

AC: How do you define success?
LZ: Having the freedom to choose the subjects and projects to fulfill one’s curiosity, passions and then share these stories.

AC: Do you have any superstitions?
LZ: No, although I do have a lucky number 27 — does that count?

AC: What’s design cliché are you most tempted to use?
LZ: “It’s a heartbreaking work of staggering genius!”

AC: Where do you go when you’re taking a break?
LZ: On a daily basis I go to the beach near my place in Venice.

AC: What do you do to detox from media and screens?
LZ: Nature, mountains, desert, glaciers, wild places and things.

AC: Where do you get inspiration?
LZ: Some people are molded by their admirations, others by their hostilities. (I am of the former.)

AC: What’s the one tool you can’t do without?
LZ: iPhone.

AC: If you could trade jobs for a day with anyone, who would it be?
LZ: Today? Maybe … Lewis Hamilton or Sting.

AC: What’s the first site you look at when you open your computer in the morning?
LZ: Facebook.

AC: What books are on your bedside table?
LZ: Space Odyssey by Micael Benson, Steve McQueen by William Klaxton, Once by Wim Wenders.

AC: Who are the most interesting artists in your field working today?
LZ: Julian Schnabel, Terrence Malick, Emmanuel “Chivo” Lubezki.

AC: Who are some unheralded artists you like?
LZ: Joe Penna, Daniel Milnor and Chris Delorenzo.

AC: Describe the moment in your childhood where you first identified as an artist or designer?
LZ: 8 years old … Life magazine … Olympic preview issue … Mark Spitz double-page spread image, full-bleed by Co Rentmeester. Turns out Rentmeester was an ArtCenter photo alum from way back, and it must have made an impression upon me since I ended up following in his footsteps to ACCD many years later.

AC: How were you exposed to great art and design as a child?
LZ: Both of my parents were mad about movies when I was a kid. Our dinner conversations revolved around actors and directors of every genre. This passion for cinema led me to believe in the medium as the height of accomplishment and collaboration in all of the art forms it encompasses: writing, photography, music, acting, editing, directing and more.

AC: If you had superpowers, what would they be?
LZ: That’s easy - to save endangered species from extinction!

AC: What is your most irrational fear?
LZ: Leaving the planet before I am finished making, exploring and learning things.

AC: What is your most rational fear?
LZ: Er, (ahem) … leaving the planet before I am finished making, exploring and learning things!

AC: What is your current obsession?
LZ: NASA + Space-X.

Alumni Q&A

Submit the Alumni Q&A questionnaire to share your story. We want to hear about your accomplishments, what you're working on and your advice for future ArtCenter students.

AC: What is your prized possession?
LZ: The authentic replica race helmet of my first Grand Prix hero Gilles Villeneuve that sits on my desk.

AC: What possession do you most aspire to possess?
LZ: Peace of mind.

AC: What is your happy place?
LZ: Ammassalik Island, Greenland.

AC: How would your closest friend describe you?
LZ: Loyal, blunt and sincere … and maybe just maybe a grizzly bear in a previous life!

AC: How would you define your personal brand or graphic identity?
LZ: Authentic and seriously addicted to … JOY.