Eugène Atget And Mario Giacomelli: Meeting The Influencial Photographers
A black and white photo often fascinates, especially regarding a photo of another era. This was also sought by Eugène Atget, the French photographer who captured the city of Paris. He created a masterpiece collection of photographs for the City of Light and greatly inspired his later ones. Undoubtedly, in the world of photography, it was a phenomenon.
A few years later, Mario Giacomelli came to shed new light on the world of photography. Sharp contrasts characterize Mario Giacomelli’s style. Taking advantage of the flash even in the daytime, he highlighted his own photographic style with the use of sharp whites and strong blacks, innovative not only for his time while almost eliminating the gray and its tonal gradations in his stylized compositions. Perhaps, it’s time for the general public to get to know them and admire their original work.
In 1878 he settled in the French city of Libourne and Paris after completing his school studies and working as a sailor and steward in order to pursue an acting career. Eventually, he went to a drama school a year later. He worked as an actor for a decade without much success. However, he gave up acting because of a health problem with his vocal cords, deciding to turn to painting, drawing, and photography.
He is self-taught, he does not have significant equipment or great technical knowledge, but he loves what he does. It is an artistic work that touches the viewer. He systematically photographs Paris and its surroundings.
Finally, he created a significant collection of photographs, which he sold. Despite the fact that he supplied photographs of important painters of the time, such as Georges Braque and Andre Derain, as well as the National Library of Paris, his financial situation was generally poor, which forced him to rely on the economic income of his wife, who worked as an actress. In 1914, he began to abandon photography gradually. He died on 4 August 1927, a year after the death of his wife. He was not held in high esteem by his contemporaries. Just a year before his death, the famous photographer Berenice Abbott “discovered” him and, thanks to her, saved a large part of his photographs.
Mario Giacomelli was born in 1925 in the Italian seaside town of Senigallia, and he did not come from a rich family. His mother worked as a laundress in an asylum to make a living. Giacomelli showed a special interest in poetry and painting at a young age. At thirteen, he left school to work as a typesetter. In 1950 he became the owner of a printing press with the help of an older woman from the asylum, where his mother worked, lending him her savings. He bought his first camera in 1953 and began his journey along the path of photography. In November 2000, the talented self-taught photographer passed away while his photographs were preserved in major museums around the world.
Of course, photography cannot create or express what we want to express. But, as photographers claim, it can be a witness of our passage to Earth, like a notebook. Giacomelli considered the camera part of his body, referring to it as an extension of his ideas. Refusing to be trapped in rules, he used the camera to deconstruct the real, implementing “ways of escaping rules.” He redefines the concepts of time and place, creating scenes where he preserves his endless presence in time with his self-portraits. He integrates himself into the viewer’s role, transcending the subjective element. He is confronted with his photographs as if his reflections were projected into a mirror. The unconscious is expressed through the modifications of the photographs in the darkroom, transforming the reality of the shooting into the photographer’s way of perception of the world.
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