GianCarlo Montebello was born in Milan in 1941 where he lives and works and where he attended the Art School at the Sforza Castle. His initial interest was directed towards interior decoration, but he eventually turned his attention to other fields.
In 1967, he opened a goldsmith workshop in partnership with Teresa Pomodoro, totally dedicated to working with artists. He subsequently founded GEM, for the production of editions of artist jewellery. Lucio Fontana, Hans Richter, Larry Rivers, are only a few of the numerous personalities with whom he worked between 1967 and 1978.
His encounter with Man Ray in 1970 was of fundatmental importance, and they worked together until his death. Then in 1978, Montebello stopped production of artist jewellery editions and began to make jewellery of his own.
From 1983, he collaborated with jeweller Enrico Trizio, designed silverware for a Japanese company, participated in exhibitions and lectured at Milan’s European Institute of Design. In 1987 he concentrated mainly on private commissions and in the mid-1990s he completed the cycle that had begun in 1983 of his Ornamenti di Bradamente.
He was invited to present the productions of GEM Montebello for the exhibition The Italian Metamorphosis, at the Guggenheim Museum, New York (1993-1994); this work was also included in the exhibition New Times, New Thinking; Jewelry in Europe and America, curated by Ralph Turner for the Craft Council Gallery, London (1995-1996). Various jewels by GEM and GianCarlo Montebello were also featured in the book Cinquant'anni di gioelli d'artista italiani edited by Luisa Somaini and Claudio Cerritelli in 1996.