First month of summer is gone and like every year of my life I’m spending these days in the Southern Italy. I took some pictures there and then (Monopoli, Bari and Taranto), here a selection of my best street shots of this month. Holidays are almost finished for me and it’s time to be back in Rome soon, to work, to start another exciting year full of passion and photography.
England can be a strange place – alternatively funny and serious, happy and sad. “The Pleasure Principle” is a collection of color photographs of England and its people, representing a powerful and perceptive view of a country during the eighties. Returning to England after spending time photographing abroad in the third world, Chris Steele-Perkins experienced a kind of culture shock. “I was not interested in polemics, or a fashionable cynicism,” says Steele‑Perkins. “I wanted to re-orientate myself. I found myself returning to the public rituals we employ in the pursuit of happiness. For there we display our identity as we would like it to be. There we make signals to each other about who we are, and about what we believe in. Looking through this haze of signals with a tangential glance, a curious eye, reveals some unintended things.” Through a series of striking color images, Steele-Perkins presents a wry view of various recreational and social activities that examines the public rituals we employ in the pursuit of happiness. Using the idea of ‘pleasure’ and the pursuit of it, he explores a public, ritual face that cuts across class and location. Steele-Perkins wanted the photographs in this book to be, in a sense, about hedonism and our search for a better world. What he presents is a “kaleidoscope of experiences”; not only familiar, but also captured in a way that is frequently unsettling.
Like every summer of my life (more or less) I’m back in the Southern Italy, Monopoli, an amazing village near Bari, the area where my family comes from. I love this place, its sea, its food, its people and I find it very inspiring for my street photos and multiple exposures. I’m going to shoot a lot in the next weeks, hoping to collect some good moments for my folders. Here the first image I’ve taken this year in Monopoli, from my series Urban Melodies.
My last memory about Ennio Morricone’s music was at the beginning of March, just before the lockdown, when the beautiful quartet of Associazione Musicale Harmonia honored me to take pictures to its concert. During the night they played the theme from “Mission” and, for the first time in my life, I took pictures with tears in my eyes. True story. Huge loss for all of us, for all the humanity. Thanks for everything Maestro Ennio Morricone.
Saul Leiter was born as a painter, but the meeting with Eugene Smith leads him to try photography. Unlike his colleagues, Leiter soon abandoned black and white to use color film, which allowed him to create an artistic and harmonious representation of chaotic New York: today his photos are considered true art works. Leiter prefers to capture the harmony in the metropolitan chaos, he loves to overlap layers, to combine colors as in a painting, to look through the misted glass, through the taxi windows, in the reflections of a mirror, transforming the metropolis into a abstract composition, something artistic: “I must admit that I am not a member of the ugly school. I have great respect for certain notions of beauty even if for some they are now old-fashioned ideas. Certain well-known photographers who, portraying the sadness of people are dealing with a serious topic. “I don’t think unhappiness is deeper than happiness”.
I’m working on something new, something different from my usual works. Maybe it’s not a very original idea, I don’t know, but I’m just trying to see if it works, if I like it, if you like it. The concept is to interpretate a street photo as a movie, with a line of an imaginary script (my degree in Cinema surely influenced all this stuff). These are the first “frames” that I’ve realized in the last days, in the meanwhile I’ll decide if I’ll go on with this idea. Thank you for all the feedbacks and suggestions.
In the 1950s Bruce Davidson runs into a Brooklyn youth gang, the Jokers. The boys and girls of the gang allow the photographer to frequent their places, posing for him and making him take even the most intimate moments. The “Brooklyn Gang” series testifies rebellion, anger, fear and alienation of this group of young people, becoming one of the most precious photographic documents of its time.
I’m so happy to show you my first zine about my series Raindrop Blues: 94 photos in 60 pages for a book full of colors, rain and good vibs. If you like it you can purchase it on Blurb. Thank you so much!
Taken from the reportage commissioned by Life magazine to the photographer Margaret Bourke-White on the 1937 flood in Kentucky, this photo has become the symbolic image of civil rights movements around the world. The contrast between African Americans queuing for bread and political propaganda in the New Deal, where the American dream is embodied by the wealthy white family, is chilling and eloquent.