Zei studied sculpture with Beatrice Casadesus at the “Ecole des Beaux-Arts de Paris”.
He then graduated with a Master of Architecture and at Jerzy Soltan's invitation went to Harvard to study Urban Design. At completion of his thesis he joined the University of California at Berkeley for a doctorate research in City and regional Planning. After few months the French government sent him to Morocco to fulﬁll his military duties. It is then that he started focusing on the intricate relation between beings and their environment, natural and man made.
Back in the US, based in New York he was able as an architect to build and travel extensively on many continents being part and witnessing the various shapes of man’s integration in his universe. Reﬂecting on his ﬁndings he was able, throughout the years, to produce as an artist a body of work that still motivates a group of loyal collectors.
Three years ago he established his residence in Coconut Grove to dedicate most of his time to his art, keeping his architectural practice to a handful of carefully selected clients.
The quest for the Place that could bring us back to peace is what generates life energy. Until such a space is found, we deal with the fear of not being there. Our senses avidly filter the physical world to collect colors, shapes, sounds, odors, searching elements that our brains could process to build this ultimate place. In this never-ending balancing act between the figurative world of our sensations and the neuronal abstraction of our chemical brain, Art is the powerful tool for unveiling the unconscious and bridging the gap between matter and the core of our soul. My work from the early 80's has always been about searching the threshold of the image where shapes and colors free themselves from cultural representation to invite the viewer into a passage to his or her own essence. Human bodies morphing into landscapes become objects, dwellings, cities and bodies again in a wakening journey back Home.
In that quest to decipher matter, I have used over the years, acrylics on canvas, bronze and photography.