Archive 7 - July- September 2001
Gallery One - Professional Gallery
I have been a professional photographer and reporter since 1977.
I started my career after my first trip to India, which made me deeply involved in both photography and traveling. Within one year, I became a full-time photographer: until 1979 I traveled a lot and my first pictures were taken as a photo reporter.
In 1980 I opened a studio in Bologna, my native city, with another photographer, Medardo Pedrini. There, I began to work in advertising, with a focus on food for advertising and books, fashion for magazines and companies, and portraits of singers, actors, etc.
Sometimes people think that commercial pictures do not allow the photographers enough freedom in expressing their own artistic essence. However, I think this kind of work is a good technical exercise, which forces me to transform ordinary objects into appealing images. It is also a good Zen practice, since it imposes me to be patient with things and people, and to be in tune with them to obtain the best I can.
Among my commercial shootings, the ones I prefer are those portraying rock stars or fashion topics. Because of their nature, I feel I can intensify them, revealing a hint of authenticity that brings out their inner nature as street photographs.
When I take pictures of lively topics like fashion and music, I perceive life infusing them. Certain kinds of music or youthful clothing belongs to the street, to the suburban areas where they were born. In my studio, I recreate the corner of a neighborhood, I create that narrative detail and light my subjects through techniques and equipments. (See studio pictures 1/2/3/4/5/6)
My love for aesthetic, which I get from my daily work as a studio photographer, is still part of my style when I take reportage pictures.
When I travel, my attention is caught more by human beings rather than landscapes. Reportage shots (mostly in B/W) are just the outcome of my personal research about people, which has been ongoing for more than 20 years.
I usually sell the photographs (often complete with articles) to magazines interested in social topics and also to Public and Private Organizations for use as calendars, posters and brochures. They are also exhibited or published in books such as:
Cuba en blancos y negros (Cuba in black & white), a sort of review of daily life in Cuba during the periodo especial (after USSR stopped to support Cuban economy). (See picture N. 5, Cuba)
Il mondo attraverso gli occhi delle donne (The word seen through the eyes of women), extensive research about women in the world, which has also inspired an exhibition currently shown all over Italy, which I promptly supply with new material after I return from one of my trips.
The exhibitions Ri-tratti dal mondo (Por-traits from the world), made of pictures taken in many countries, and Sguardi (Glances), different reportages about immigrants in Europe and USA, in which I portray people's faces, glances and feelings rather than classifying them by their social status. (See picture N. 2, Paris)
Other reportages are about Indian life styles. Seven visits to this huge country has resulted in many articles and exhibitions, and books:
Sul monte Kailash, canti e miti della religione induista (On Mount Kailash: songs and myths of Hinduism), text and pictures.
Il movimento Sarvodaya e le fattorie Sarva Seva nello sviluppo agricolo indiano (text and pictures about agricultural projects in India). (See picture N. 8, India)
La cucina indiana vegetariana (Indian vegetarian cooking) text and pictures, which I consider a good mix between my experience as a photo reporter and my technical background as studio photographer.
Appunti contro il razzismo (Note-book against racism), text and pictures - a project for teachers and children of grammar schools realized with the famous Italian writer Elena Gianini Belotti and the African TV journalist M. De Lourdes Jesus. Sharing my professional experience with women so different by age, professional and cultural backgrounds allowed me to face bigotry from different points of view and made the project particularly interesting.
In 2001 I accomplished 2 personal projects for Bologna 2000 European City of Culture Committee:
The first one, E-venti di Festa, (Winds of Celebration), is a wide reportage about religious and civil holidays of more than 20 foreign communities living in Bologna. It includes a book and an exhibition containing 55 B/W pictures. I attended immigrants' parties for about 2 years and I deeply treasure the insight I got from so many different cultures and customs. (See pictures N. 1, Sri Lanka dancer, and N. 4, Ivory Coast girl)
The second one, named Women Photographers' Net, is a census about women photographers currently active in Europe. (see in this same website: site map / collections / European 2000 Census). As an history of photography teacher at many workshops and private Universities in Italy, I have noted that in many books the work of important women photographers of the last century has been too often forgotten. The urge of giving a face and a voice to my contemporary colleagues was the driving force for me to create this this project.
My last engagement is a reportage about health and nutrition in Sahrawi's Refugees Camps near Tindouf, in South Algeria, where I went in the spring of 2001 and where I intend to return to complete a more extensive project. (See picture N. 10, Sahrawi mother and daughter)