Helidon Xhixha was born in Durrës, Albania, in December 1970. He was raised in a family of artists and inherited his respect for the fine arts and passion for sculpting from his father.
While waiting to begin his studies at the Academy of Arts in Tirana, he decided to move to Italy where he attended the Brera Art Academy of Milan. Through a scholarship he won in 1998, he was able to attend London’s Kingston University where he improved his techniques in engraving, sculpting and photography. He graduated from Milan’s Brera Academy in February 1999. He very quickly became renowned in the academic art sphere for his unique style. His creations included works in Murano glass and sculptures in stainless steel using innovative and specialized techniques.
Within a few years, steel became the base of all of Xhixha's sculptures. However, it should be noted that Xhixha thinks of steel as a tool used to manipulate light, rather than the sole medium of his work, famously describing his practice with the words, “I do not sculpt materials; I use materials to sculpt light.” The reflective nature of the works give them an inherent site-specific dependency—the sculptures utilize their environment to capture and transform the surrounding colors and shapes, giving them a dynamic and energetic quality.
Xhixha embraces the idea of the monument—the works are presented as strong, physical objects—but rejects the rhetoric usually associated with such a style, emphasizing instead the interplay between steel, light and the environment.
“I was born as a monumental artist, and I have always considered art with a sense of greatness and vastness as it is the ultimate expression of the human mind and soul,” Xhixha said. “Even when I work on a smaller sculpture, I mold in it the concept of immensity.”