With affection, and irony, I took this group photo of master restorers from Bergamo using their detailed cleaning method as my optics, indeed, for me, who started work as a professional photographer actually documenting restoration work in its various phases, this, more than a picture, is a tribute to knowledge, to the technique of cleaning:
The detailed cleaning is a visual concept with a usefulness which goes beyond the specific sector of restoration, and concerns the sense of every picture: how it was, how it is, how it could be, how it will be.
To photograph a work of restoration is a very technical job, thanks to which you learn to illuminate the object perfectly, above all you learn to illuminate the objects two-dimensionally, it is almost an anti-creative training, rigidly and absolutely technical, purely technical: but in fact, and maybe you realize years later, it teaches you many things.
Firstly, photographing paintings, you learn to make images of images, which then is fundamental every day, from the moment that we live in a society of images, in cities, surroundings, interiors, streets covered in images.
But above all, this detailed cleaning for the photographer becomes a sort of mental app that prefigures the display options in a frame. And in the end, willingly or not, looking at these paintings, this sacred art 1400-1700, these human figures, and what they do, and the objects, and how they are arranged, you learn the rules of the composition of the frame, and from a sacred family derive a portrait of enterprise, from a still life a fashion showcase, from a nativity scene a still life…
And from a last supper a group photo of craftspeople like apostles, disciples of their own professional creed.
“My father” you can say in many ways, and mean many things.
Those who like me, lead a different life to their father, rarely, privately,
in a low voice and modestly, say “my father”
But in an artisan company, from how the son says “my father”,
with his head high, with a strong voice, you can sense a close relationship,
territorial, generational, based on their work.
“Work” is also the first reply that the expert artisan/worker(but young looking)
gives me to the question: “ What do you do?”
“ And how long have you been working?” “Here for 33 years, but I was already working before”
Another, with a look of Clint Eastward:” I started at 13 as an apprentice,
then I arrived at the retirement age of an employee, and now
I have been working for 13 years as an artisan in partnership”
Then a young Viking, who after explaining what he does
(designs to measure, technical designs, autocad, software)
looks at me in the face and reveals his secret, his true strong point:
“my father, all the ideas come from him”
In that “my father” there is a consciousness of a value to hand down,
of a story to continue: “ the carpenter was the one who with a piece
of wood made anything”
Each artisan, deep down, thinks the same thing, also a photographer:
with a camera you can do anything,
and my first photo came to mind, more than 30 years ago,
on a school trip, class 3C, with an old, precious Voigtlander,
the first camera that I used, and with great care:
it had been entrusted to me by my father.
Opening my exhibition “oil”
Via Borgo Santa Caterina, 90/a 24124 Bergamo
For those wishing to dine in company, reservation required
an ad-info video, global vending sector,
technological product, specific target, leading company,
an innovation destined for the world market,
the new touch screen of the Necta devices,
all the functions must be explained in 220 seconds,
and therefore budget, briefing, concept, story board, casting,
production, set, filming, post-production, insertion in green screen,
all the exempla of the utilities, check the weather forecast, the time, the transport,
the services, useful travel information such as at stations and airports,
or the showcase-network in “social” places such as companies, hospitals, schools,
and at the same time checking and calculating the calories in coffee, cappuccino, hot chocolate…
all clear, all perfect, settings correct, tones ok, the perfect model…
then with a grin I think of all the times when someone shows you
“all the high–tech functions” of some new digital application,
and you, in the end diminish it all with the legendary question: yeah..but does it make coffee?
Even without resorting to digital magic,
A photograph often finishes up portraying an untruth,
It’s in its very nature…
Sometimes, instead, a little digital lie
Allows the simple truth, the authenticity of what it tells.
This happened to me working on the case history of Cavotec Specimas
A 50-year-old company, with 140 people working there.
For the occasion they will publish a book, an important edition,
And so I tell myself: it’s not advertising, it’s not an ephemeral brochure,
It’s the company’s memories, of people, collective, lasting.
And so, no special effects, but research of the truth,
Witness of an era in the workplace,
A group of people, their faces, their expressions.
The moment I arrive, here the fact is: there’s a person missing,
He must be added after, post production.
It’s magic, it’s a lie, in all its Gravity,
And I think of the film with Clooney and Bullock filmed at separate times.
Look at the people, the 139 faces I have in front of me,
It’s not easy to pose, and impersonate yourself,
But how to manage this act is my job, courage,
Slowly, slowly you get used to it, you overcome the reluctance,
There is patience, willingness, participation, collaboration.
The work finished, I look at the results, the shots,
And I understand what has happened, how I have worked:
It’s really the lost sheep
Which makes you observe the group more carefully,
And recognize each single person who forms it.
The behind the scene…
AGENCY: WINNING ASSOCIATI
The sensation of Spring in New York, for those who arrive from Europe,
and find themselves catapulted from the human flux of the metro into the presence of the big skyscrapers (which seem like heavenly diaphragms, walls which reflect the clouds)
it is something similar to the syncopated rhythm of jazz or the blues,
a strike in the heart, a stab in the brain,
namely a continuous passage from the blue melancholy notes of the urban landscape
to the lively swing movement of people, traffic, lights, sounds and messages;
a sort of double canon, of entwinement between the static energy of the vertical architecture
and the dynamic anxiety of the human nature of the New Yorkers:
nowhere as well in New York lives the old dogma of McLuhan “ the medium is the message”
the photograph is the harmonic line, the bass, the drums,
the cinema is the melodic line, the guitar, the trumpet,
with the intention of expressing how much I lived (unconsciously, and only afterwards,
looking at the material, in a knowing way)
that is, this nature purely semiotic of New York script,
I produced a selection of silent images, still,
and a brief remake of sound images, in movement, homage to an old master,
who I’m certain you will recognize.
As you know, my assistants are a bit vain, every time there’s a new light set, they fight for portrait.
“today it’s my day…you again?…Impossible!” and so on.
Marco’s portrait, sanctified, remembers me to resume an old project: what do you think about it, Leo?
(Leo is a writer, as well as a friend, who submitted me a project an year ago, about saints)
By the way, anyone who’d like to fight with them, not as assistant, but as a person, is welcome to my studio. We garantee board, smiles and happiness, which are a luxury today!
You may be interested in:
Stefano is a splendid customer, he is unique.
He calls me, asking for photos that tells his Italian company, his real design and production factory.
I go and visit him, he guides me in a tour of the departments of the new headquarter and tells me about some new events.
The first thing I notice is the quantity of materials, products, scraps, instruments, machinery, men: like a patchwork of a visual balanced cahos.
I held back the thought, going on.
Coming back to the office, I disclose my feeling, announcing my next photo survey.
I come back and when I show him the pictures he says: approved! Wonderful.
We point the details and organize the sets.
The staff have been fantastic, playing along with me, with the right spice of irony to describe the working atmosphere.
Their slogans say: what we do is unordinary.
The cover was indispensable!
Giuseppe, Beppe for everybody, was passing the baton of CNA’ direction to Tomas.
But it wasn’t enough, we needed a B Side to have deeper informations, some hint less known.
Pratically he chose the soundtrack, we know he’s an exquisite conoisseur.
An year has passed since that day, I feel this is the right moment to share with you his words
If you climbed the 8000m, let’s say seven times, it happens that you become famous.
When I met him I thought he was a little bit snobbish.
He came by motor scooter (don’t get confused by the video), a quick briefing and then on the set, helpful and very professional also as model.
Soon I thought to make a behind-the-scenes video when I’ve been asked to shoot this campaign.
I’ve never talked about it, today I’ll take the chance to do that.
By the way…the singer is our friend Paolo Pinna make up artist!