As a young man in Naples, Golia studied chemical engineering, learning about the transformation of raw materials into powerful energy sources. Such a concept captures a crucial aspect of his artistic approach, in which he takes preexisting objects from lived reality as the starting point for a set of actions that unfold, displacing initial meanings and functions.
Drawn to the varied cultural associations of Los Angeles, where he has lived and worked since 2002, Golia has produced a vast number of artworks inspired by or situated in the city itself. For example, Luminous Sphere (2010), a five-foot-tall orb installed on the roof of West Hollywood’s Standard Hotel, is only illuminated when the artist is in town; like a sacred presence expressed in LA vernacular, the mysterious cipher awaits projection of meaning from the casual passerby unaware of what drives its pattern of illumination. “It’s a form open to urban legend,” the artist muses. In 2008 Golia was invited to take over a booth at the Art LA fair; his contribution was to completely fill the space with a full-sized passenger bus that had been dramatically crushed by bulldozers to fit the dimensions of the exhibition space.