Giovanni Battista Podesta, born in 1895 in Torre Pallavicina (northern Italy), is the only son of a peasant family of thirteen children very poor, the father having died young, Giovanni environment is exclusively female. Its financial condition forced him to leave school at the age of ten in favor of aid work mason. Called to war, he knows his return and reintegration difficulties must resign himself to commit three years with the carabinieri. It is then sent to Laveno, a small village on the shores of Lake Maggiore, where he met his future wife whom he married after leaving his post to work in a ceramics factory. The couple has two children. Joint, Giovanni began his creative activity. He devoted himself first to painting in oil, focusing on religious subjects and landscapes, and it seeks to transform his apartment. Finally, he made sculptures and bas-reliefs, and makes her special clothes with which he parades in Laveno. When his wife died in 1974, severely disrupted, it stops all creation and the following two years later
Sauver le Monde ?, Art et Marges Museum, from September 30th to January 29th 2017, Brussels, Belgium.
Podestà, Collection de l'art brut, Lausanne, September 11th 2003 - January 25th 2004
Exhibition catalogue, Élévations, collections Bruno Decharme et Antoine de Galbert, hommage à Joseph Ferdinand Cheval, Palais idéal du facteur Cheval, Hauterives, (april, 30 – august, 30 2015), text by Barbara Safarova, Lienart ed. , 2015.
Lucienne Peiry, Collection de l’Art Brut. Lausanne, co-édition Collection de l'Art Brut et Skira-Flammarion, Paris, 2012.
Giovanni Battista Podestà, catalogue d'exposition (6 mars-5 juin 2011, galerie Rizomi), Turin, Galerie Rizomi, en collaboration avec la galerie christian berst, 2011.
Arte, genio, follia, Il giorno e la notte dell’artista, Siena, Complesso Museale Santa Maria della Scala, 31 gennaio – 25 maggio 2009, Edizioni Antonio Mazzotta, 2009.
Beautés insensées, Figures, histoires et maîtres de l’art irrégulier, sous la direction de Bianca Tosatti, Milan, Skira, 2006.
Laurent Danchin, L’Art brut, L’Instinct créateur, Paris, Découverte Gallimard, 2006.
Lucienne Peiry, L’Art Brut, Paris, Flammarion, Coll. « Tout l’art », 1997, 2006.
Lucienne Peiry, « The Italian creator of a utopian art influenced by the Middle Ages » in Raw Vision n° 45, 2003.
La Fabuloserie, Art Hors-les-normes, Art Brut, catalogue, Dicy, 2001
Michel Thévoz, Collection de l'Art Brut, Lausanne, Lausanne, Musées Suisse, 2001.
Laurent Danchin, Art brut et compagnie, la face cachée de l’art contemporain, Paris, La Différence, 1995.
Les Singuliers de l'art, des inspirés aux habitants paysagistes, Arc2, Musée d'Art Moderne de la villes de Paris, Catalogue d'exposition, 19 janviers-5 mars 1978.
Lucienne Peiry, « Giovanni Battista Podestà », Fascicule de l’Art brut n°15, Lausanne, Compagnie de l’Art Brut, 1987.
Marischa Burckhardt, « Le Moraliste Giovanni Battista » in Psychopathologie et expression picturale, Entre Éros et Thanatos, Série 14, Sandoz, 1970.