L'Italo-Americano

italoamericano-digital-1-22-2015

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THURSDAY, JANUARY 22, 2015 www.italoamericano.com L'Italo-Americano 2 or a window overlooking the Versailles garden. He focused on the moments and scenes that oth- ers tended to ignore, unveiling the "oddity and sublimity" of everyday life. Ghirri swiftly gained global recognition. Time-Life magazine dubbed him "Discovery of the Year" in its Photography Year publication in 1975. In 1982 he was named one of the twenty most significant photographers of the 20th century for his series Topographie-Iconographie. He collaborated with iconic painter Giorgio Morandi in his private studio. He published his first photobook, Kodachrome, com- prised of his own photos in 1979. These images are "casual, ele- gant, surreal depictions of life in Italy and the surrounding coun- tries" – a couple walking in the s now y S w itzerland peaks , a young man examining an Eiffel Tower souvenir in Paris, a couple in bathing suits playing with a beach ball in the sand. His photographs are praised as having "a fathomless depth of field, each glare and hue and nick intact." This, combined with his ironic wit and dry sense of humor, gives viewers a deep experience. Ghirri's photos drew heavily on the atmosphere and backdrops of his photos. He used sunsets, hazy whites, golds, etc. Photoshop has become a use- ful tool for modern media. He unwittingly discovered this photo manipulation technique when photographing a sunbather. He portrayed his subject in front of a cruise ship as an intentional opti- cal illusion – the sunbather was not in front of the cruise ship when he took it! Ghirri seems to have created his effect by cutting a wavy edge on the bottom of a cruise ship photo, essentially using Photoshop by hand. H e began photographing Italian landscapes in the 1980s and was labeled one of the most significant authors of 20th centu- ry photography. He conjoined conceptual photography and lit- erary motifs, which led to an assortment of profound photo- graphic projects . Viaggio in Italia (Italian Voyage) included reflections and ideas of Italy, becoming a milestone in Italian photography history. Perhaps, it was so significant because he collaborated with other leading Italian photographers including Olivo Barbieri, Mimmo Jodice, and Gabriele Basicilico. G hirri and his w ife P aola Borgonzoni Ghirri founded the publis hing hous e, Punto e Virgola, to promote Italian pho- tography, public artist mono- graphs, and educate audiences on photography as art. Il Profilo delle Nuvole (Cloud Profiles) w as his mos t notew orthy achievement, displaying his most captivating images. Other notable works include Egmund Am Zee (1977), which shows a blue s ky overs hadow ed by a Coca-Cola Flag, and Riva di Tures (1977), s how ing a jet streak as the upper border of a pyramid atop tw o mountain peaks. The photographer not only replicated images via the camera, he explored reality with great depth and ingenuity. For him, photography was less representa- tion and more a form of poetry and communication. He saw it as a "mental habitat where bound- aries and territories intersect and fluctuate". He defied traditional views of Italy in the 1970s and 1980s. Ghirri only had one solo show in New York before his 1992 death. Since then, he has been featured in numerous publica- tions and museums, including the M us eo della F otografia Contemporanea (M ilan), Museum of Modern Art (New York), Bibliothèque Nationale (Paris), and Canadian Centre for Architecture (Montreal). The National Museum of the 21st Century Arts (MAXXI) in Rome featured an exhibition on his life and work in 2013. N ex t time w e admire a thoughtful juxtaposition of peo- ple and their everyday surround- ings , a lands cape of Emilia Romagna's mountains , or a P hotos hopped image of K im Kardashian, let's raise a glass to Luigi Ghirri. In a world where color pho- tographs are ubiquitous, we tend to be unaw are of its humble beginnings. Born in Scandiano, Italy in 1943, Lu igi G hirri became a champion of contem- porary photography. He pio- neered color photography, often taking snapshots of landscape and architecture. Having studied graphic design and land surveying in college, Ghirri began photography in his 30s. He experimented with color photography through pho- tographing parks, beaches, and urban scenes in Emilia Romagna and throughout Italy. The "tenu- ous balance between people and their surroundings" was a focal point of his work. He confronted places other photographers avoided – like the blank space between two landscape paintings Luigi Ghirri, Venezia, 1987 Luigi Ghirri: a forer unner of Instagram JANE HUSON Luigi Ghirri

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