Born in the commune of Galatina, Province of Lecce, Nico Preste was born in 1968 and raised in the southernmost region of Italy (Puglia), where he resided until 1988.
At the age of 20, after graduating from High School with a degree in Accounting, Nico moved to Milan for two years, where he worked odd jobs and gained life experiences living in an industrial city. In 1990 he returned to his hometown in Southern Italy, where he began cultivating land and pursued working in the agriculture sector. Having spent most of his childhood and lifetime in the countryside, he enjoyed being outdoors, in nature, and continued to develop his green thumb with plants and passion for gardening.
Having always had an interest in modeling and drawing as a recreational hobby, Nico stumbled upon his artistic talent, when some friends asked him to create some custom work. It wasn’t until six years ago that Nico was finally able to purchase his own ceramic oven and starting seriously working on his creations. It is only then, that Nico truly immersed himself in sculpting and discovered his own passion and inventiveness for combining, assembling and transforming unusual objects and recycled materials into beautiful, figurative pieces of art. Part of Nico’s vision and pastime is also spent searching for materials, such as porcelain, metals or wood elements, that he often finds, or purchases in flea markets, thrift stores and recycling centers and giving them a new life in his workshop.
In 2013, a ceremony was held by the Galatina Municipal Administration, where Nico Preste received public recognition as the winning artist, among other famous sculptors, for his ideas in a community sponsored art competition called “Marble is Forever “. Nico’s masterpiece is a large, marble creation of the figure of the Owl, a symbol depicted in the coat of arms of the city, which is placed with pride in the city center (Piazza Alighieri) of his hometown.
Nico’s work is purely artisan, and every piece, even if similar, is different and unique. His work was presented at the ”Fuori Salone” of the Milan Design Expo in 2019. During this event, his art also received recognition spectators, and he was subsequently commissioned to design and produce the sculptures that would be presented as prizes to the winning athletes in a prestigious, worldwide diving tournament sponsored by Red Bull. Nico’s work is on display, and has been sold and shipped, to prestigious shops around the world, including the United States, Australia and South Africa. His work can also be found in local shops in Lecce and Gallipoli and is proudly promoted online at Art Boutique by Gilda.