“What is difficult is to find a unique vision throughout your carrier, it requires both dedication and passion.”
Giacomo Brunelli (born 1977) is a contemporary photographer from Italy presently residing in London.
His work is mostly shot in black & white.
Giacomo Brunelli calls the monochrome a crucial element of his photography. Although he attended a six-month photography course in the past, he considers himself as a self-taught photographer.
In this interview Giacomo Brunelli talks about his series of self-portraits. They are expressions of vulnerability and disappearing into nature.
Giacomo Brunelli explains: “The pictures are composed so the landscape has an impact on the silhouette and the shadows are completely integrated into it, with no barrier between them and the rural view of the background.”
From 27th February to 27 April 2014 Giacomo Brunelli’s project “Eternal London” will be exhibited at The Photographers’ Gallery print room (London). The book “Eternal London” will be published by Dewi Lewis.
Interview with Giacomo Brunelli
Giacomo, in one of your recent projects you are dealing with the subject of self-portraits. How did the idea for that come up?
After “The Animals” was published in 2008 I moved to London and started a new series on animals in the UK.
During one of my trips to Italy in the summer of 2010, I was in the countryside looking for animals in Umbria, the region where I was born, and I came across the projection of my shadow on a white road against beautiful landscape.
I took a couple of shots, I liked the results so decided to work on it. Portraiture is a genre traditionally used to explore issues of identity.
What do your photographs tell about yourself?
The portraits exist because of the sunshine and they fall apart and disappear into nature.
It’s not only the fact that you don’t actually appear in your self-portraits, just your shadows, but also the environment – lost in nature – and the monochrome aspect of the images. How are these elements linked to each other?
The monochrome is very important to my work, shadows are black and to make them stand out in the landscape you need a good contrast both in the shooting and the darkroom.
Your portrait photography is fascinating: You don’t just portray yourself; you also took images of animals that in a portray style. Can you please explain your special approach of portraiture?
I’d say is more my approach to photography in general, the fact that I look for a certain light and a certain emotion.
Do you think it’s possible as a photographer to still be unique these days? Or do you rather consider it to be more important to create an own style adding your personal twist to something that has already been done before?
I think what is difficult is to find a unique vision throughout your carrier, it requires both dedication and passion.
What reaction would you like to provoke in people looking at your images?
I’d like people to be surprised by my images.
Philosopher Susan Sontag once said “The camera makes everyone a tourist in other people’s reality, and eventually in one’s own”. How has photography changed the way you look at the world and what have you learnt about yourself?
Photography has been teaching me to be curious and passionate about things and it has been changing the way I approach the world and the things I see.
I’ve probably become more “selective”but at the same time also more open in a way.
Every photographer is going through different stages in his formation. Which “landmarks” do you recall that have marked you and brought you to the place where you are today as a photographer?
Last but not least, let’s switch roles: Which question would you have liked to be asked in this interview about your work that I didn’t ask? Please feel free to add it – as well as the answer.
Thanks for everything, it was great to answer your questions!