“Open inhabited spaces give me a sense of peace and the idea that an individual can enjoy these spaces, with no hurry or disturb, is my definition of equilibrium. “
How did you start shooting pictures? What attracted you of photography?
Photography for me started out of nowhere, and with no particular ambitions. I developed a passion for modern architecture many years ago, to a point where I decided to start documenting the buildings that striked me the most. At the beginning it was a small archive, but quite quickly the passion for photography has become stronger than the one for architecture and it has broadened my interests and curiosity, well beyond my already important relationship with the greatest pieces of architecture.
“Walls and Strangers” is a series about the visual interaction between human beings and the buildings of which our habitat is made of. What are the elements with which you choose a place or another?
For me photography is an experience that starts well before the shooting. Research is an important part of it. I travel a lot for work and I never waste a chance to document myself before hand on which are the structures I could like. I have hundreds of places written in my notebook, places that I have visited, that I want to visit or that have struck me so much that I have already photographed them many times…I am always looking for something new. I generally search for styles that are linear: big structures that easily can convey a sense of perspective and of proportion, where I can insert a human figure that enriches with an alternative soul the composition.
For a similar job I imagine long observation sessions in order to capture the decisive moment…what does this tell us of the voyeuristic component of photography?
This is a built-in aspect of my experience: waiting for a scene that I have imagined to form in front of my eyes. Hours can pass by before a shot. For this reason I talk of photography as an experience and as a combination of elements: love for architecture -or for nature- fills the soul and makes the waiting extremely stimulating.
The interaction between human beings and inhabited spaces comes out once more in “Spaces”. What fascinates you of this theme? What aesthetics are you after?
I look for equilibrium or, better, my definition of it. Open inhabited spaces give me a sense of peace and the idea that an individual can enjoy these spaces, with no hurry or disturb, is my definition of equilibrium. I don’t have a fixed idea of aesthetics, but generally I appreciate the most strong contrasts between the horizon (or the building) and the person…with no other elements to “pollute” my conception of space.
You clearly love minimalism…how would you define this style? What fascinates you the most about it? Who are the masters you look up to?
I necessarily must make the name here of Richard Wollheim, who defined the movement of “Minimal Art” as the reduction of things to the basic geometrical structures. Yes, this for me is minimalism: using the less number possible of elements – such as color and shapes-in composition. I am fascinated from the cleanliness and equilibrium you can find in minimalist photo and the possibility to interpret or choose arbitrarily what is the most important feature in a composition. Linearity and cleanliness always convey me a great sense of peace, and the creations of Lea De Meulenaere have always been a great source of inspiration for me in this sense.
Architecture is a favourite photographic subject of yours. How do you personalize the image of places that are out there indistinctly for all of us? What are the architectonic elements you most admire?
I always try to interpret a piece of art through a perspective that I feel is not commonplace. It is very hard, and I don’t succeed always, but even only striving for it makes the experience valuable. The greatest satisfaction for me is when a shot of mine is admired not for what it represents but for what it immortalises. Even better it is when the architectonic elements are not even recognized by the viewer: this is a real stimulating challenge.
I really like the aesthetics of modernist churches…maybe they are not beautiful in the typical sense, but they are incredibly meaningful. Many of my photos are indeed of churches, I have visited a lot of them throughout the world.
If I understood correctly photography is not your main job…is this a choice? Do you ever think of making a profession out of it?
Photography for me is a passion, rather than a dream. My career is much more important than it right now. If one day becoming a professional photographer shall become a dream, then I will surely go after it!
An artist you want to give a shout out to?
Serge Najjar: one of the most active and creative minimalist photographers I know whose sense of geometries is always perfect. Valentina Loffredo: she has a gentle view on things and a delightful sense of composition
Next and upcoming projects?
I will go on with my research and start experimenting with a new passion of mine, time lapse videos!