Born in 1967, Julien Marinetti grew up in Paris’s Saint-Germain-des-Prés district, along the banks of the River Seine. He inherited the taste for culture and knowledge from his father, a photographer, and from his mother, who ran a school of theatre and dance. As soon as he could walk, he was a regular visitor at the Louvre. Later he learned his craft copying the old masters in the famous museum. Here he discovered Ancient Greece and Rome and developed a passion for 15th-century Italian art.
Paris’s used-book dealers, whose stalls line the river on the Quai de Conti, were his neighbors. They loaned him books on art, philosophy and history, which he devoured. His grandfather, an Italian and an amateur painter, gave him his first box of oil paints. He tried them out for the first time on used kitchen rags, which he had coated with skin glue onto old cardboard. He discovered bronze sculpture in the nearby workshop of Paul Belmondo (father of actor Jean-Paul Belmondo), who was a member of the Académie des Beaux-Arts (French Academy of Fine Arts). He began salvaging, recycling and tinkering with old objects, out of which he created his first sculptures. When not sculpting, he spent his afternoons at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière, a Paris art school specializing in live models, where he studied the nude form and French academic drawing methods.
After a brief spell of just a few days at Paris’ Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts (National School of Fine Arts), Marinetti was determined to make his own way as an artist. He continued learning and perfecting his mastery of painting and sculpting techniques, but also of engraving, ceramics and stained glass.