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Art Photo Collector

Posts tagged Italian:

"Nobody knows what art is, and it can’t be taught. It’s the mind and the talent of the eye of the individual, who is operating the machine, that produces what comes out of it."—Walker Evans

Some people can paint, others can’t. Some folks can sing, I cannot. And some individuals take great photographs, while others can only aspire. The Rome-based photographer, Giovanni Cocco, was unknown to me until last week. I stumbled upon his work online and in a moment, knew, this is a photographer with talent. Later, upon reviewing his portfolio online, my notion was duly confirmed.

Cocco’s work is diverse and strong. A quick survey of his portfolio and you’ll see, there’s a passionate eye behind the lens. Whether in color or black & white, shooting commercial or his own personal projects, this Italian photographer knows exactly what he’s doing with his machine. This selection from his “Burladies" series is but one distinct example of what he can do. Younger and ambitious photographers, in particular, should take note. This is how good you need to be—and it can’t be taught. —Lane Nevares

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” Marcel Proust

The Italian artist, Ivano Atzori, is a man in pursuit of ideas. An outsider artist, self-taught, and embracing everything from graffiti to fashion to performance art, Atzori’s restless energy and work isn’t readily classifiable. Nor should it be. His work has been featured everywhere from Italian Vogue to the streets of New York City.

In this performance piece, “Experience,” Atzori uses an arsonist’s crime scene as his canvas. Having discovered and fought the fire, he would later return, shrouding his identity in paper, and once again physically confront the landscape—feeling, digging, scraping, and eventually setting himself free. A meditation on life, death and transformation, Atzori’s “experience” may be ephemeral, but his ideas of nature, destruction, resurrection and release are as old as life. —Lane Nevares

"I do not mistrust reality, of which I know next to nothing, but I am suspicious regarding the image of reality which our senses convey to us, and which is incomplete and limited. Our eyes have developed such as to survive. It is merely coincidence that we can see stars with them as well."—Gerhard Richter

Luigi Ghirri, who passed away in 1992, was many things in his 49 years: a writer, curator, land surveyor, photographer, and conceptual artist. It is through his color photography that he is best known. His 1978 self-published monograph, Kodachrome, has influenced numerous artists and was re-printed to great acclaim last November. Currently (and for the first time in the United States), the accompanying exhibit of 25 vintage works is on display at Matthew Marks in NYC. 

Ghirri pursued his philosophical ideas using photography as a medium for deciphering form and meaning. His cool, smooth, Kodachrome view of the world is an attempt to mine significance from the signs surrounding us. Engaging with his work is to join him in grappling with universal questions of identity, place, and reality. Are his photographs, then, aspirations for some cathartic truth? Don’t let the ironic, understated images fool you, Luigi Ghirri is enjoining us to think deeply and critically about what we see and know. —Lane Nevares