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T H E A R T I S T / A R C H I T E C T H A S B U I L T his one-of-a-kind art studio/home, a tri-story loft completely out of metal with gigantic columns in the front. Reminiscent of the European style of the Venetian 1600th-century architect Andrea Palladio, his style is known for the giant columns in the front of the house. Columns in front of the United States Capitol are examples.

“Palladio’s work is done in the traditional style of a Greek temple that he turned into turned into a house, and I wanted to do the same thing, embellish it into a home.” The West End house is a showstopper for those passing by. “People do stop from time to time and ask to see the inside,” he said.

Mounting another spiral staircase and entering into the bedroom through French doors, this room is perhaps the most unusual and powerfully artistic in the entire house. The room looks like an opera or play set. Everything is made of unique designs, built by the artist, out of wood, painted in a variety of pastel and primary colors.

The pink bed has an ornate high-back headboard and sits in the middle of the room at an angle like “I wanted to create the inside to be able to experiment that of a Broadway set. with by making it a studio on the first floor, and upstairs Windows line the wall I built a kitchen and the third floor I made into a bedroom.” with various potted plants and other The kitchen is accessible by a spiral staircase leading to personal memorabilia. the second floor overlooking the first floor studio, which is filled with paintings and three-dimensional collages by The house suits the artist who the artist. On the second floor, the kitchen has one long looks a bit like Picasso when island made of wood, complete with a stove, storage and he was in his 70s with the preparation space. Resembling a kitchen made for a play- same sense of humor and house, it is actually wonderfully functional and aestheti- sense of style. The house has cally pleasing at the same time. been seen in the New York Times, the Houston Chronicle and featured in the television series Extreme Homes. Zeni started by buying a metal shell, which was then made into a box, and he created the inside. A company made the outside box, and it took about a week.

At first reserved, the artist begins to show his true side, a creative man determined to live life on his own terms at his own pace in life. Relaxed and affectionate, he lives alone and presents himself as someone who doesn’t really need a lot of people. Gentle with his own direct ideas, he is both expressive and alive as he talks about his art and his life. Born in a small Italian village of Spormaggiore, population 1,000 in the region of Trento, he came to the US as a 16 year old with his family, and he joined the Marines to get out of the house and was sent to the Vietnam War. u

Profile for ArtHouston Magazine

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Issue #1

Arthoustonmagazine  

Issue #1

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