In 1965 he joined Italian Vogue, and produced the cover of its first issue. His work for the Italian, French, American and German editions of Vogue led on to publicity work with the great fashion designers Valentino, Armani, Saint Laurent, Ferré, Versace and Dolce & Gabbana.
In 1978 the German magazine Stern ranked him among the fourteen top fashion photographers. He shoots in analogic mode and does not retouch his pictures. His photographs are on show at the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Kunstforum in Vienna and the National Portrait Gallery of London.
This special exhibition traces Gian Paolo Barbieri’s use of instant photography with twenty Polaroids taken in the last 30 years and never exhibited before.
Included are portraits (like Monica Bellucci and Jerry Hall), figure studies, indigenous people in their environment and flowers.
Many of these small, intimate photographs convey tenderness and vulnerability, others depict a toughness and immediacy.
Unlike the highly crafted images Barbieri staged in the studio and became famous for, these disarming pictures are marked by spontaneity and invention.
Together, they offer insight into the artist’s great career.
It is as if now he wanted to give to his beloved instrument, the camera, the opportunity to reinvent images that he has already acquired over his life, images that left a mark in the long road that he has been following for years. Hence, these are no longer snapshots of sensuality; rather, they are descriptions of situations, moments, events stuck in his mind, memories of sensations he had in museums, experiences from night-time readings.
Skin is pure poetry, concealed in his mind for a long time. Images, which though shaped to the smallest detail, never lose the existence in the instant, breathe their current times and feel the pulse of life under their ‘skin’.
This is the touch of the master. Making the watcher recall feelings, as in a déjà vu, dragging him into the world of his imagination, making him lose his way in a maze of double experiences, where the creator’s one and the watcher’s one blend together and give birth to emotions, as in a silent theatre, where the image is enough to express much more than a text read aloud.
Barbieri’s touch and what ruled the Hellenic ancient times for years: beauty.
In this way, the Narcissus becomes an important witness: like him, Barbieri also looks at himself in the mirror of water, and prefers to kill himself with his own beloved beauty, rather than betray his ideals.
Among the divas and top models we find Audrey Hepburn, Jerry Hall, Monica Bellucci.
The centrality of bodies is finally elevated in some shots taken in tropical paradises of Tahiti, Madagascar and Seychelles, in which Barbieri describes places and distant realities with his impeccable taste meaning to combine spontaneity and style.
He is a regular workshop teacher and lecturer for international photo festivals such as Toscana Foto Festival, Nordic Light International Festival of Photography, and the St. Moritz Art Masters. Based in Monte Carlo, he works primarily between the French Riviera, New York, Los Angeles and Milan.
The premature death of his father, has deeply marked him, but has also encouraged the growth of his own charisma, the development of a deep inner world, and a very keen sense of observation. This led to his artistic inspiration, to build on his cultural and emotional baggage (futurism, trans-avangarde, science fiction), generating his desire to raise his gaze, to look ahead, to travel around the world for shooting the powerful images of his first exhibition “Alza Lo Sguardo” (Tilt-up), and to finally focus on Fine Art Photography.
In October 2013 and in May 2014 he has exposed at the London Photo Festival and has shown a motion photograph at Saatchi Gallery. He has launched his new project “Humans or Replicants – Love in the Age of the Unreal” at the Fifth edition of Art Takes Miami-Scope Art Miami: this collection will be presented within MIA Photo Fair 2016.
At the edge between the real and the unreal, the true and the false, the original and the fake, who are we going to love?
This is the question which inspired this collection. Through his powerful shots, Aaron Baghetti makes real the un-living mannequins of high street window displays worldwide. He captures the truth of their...
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