Looking up towards the sky one feels a sense of disorientation, landmarks dissolve and one is overcome with feelings of abandon and freedom….
You can see a portfolio of Gaetano Gentile's work at here
I choose to portray reality indirectly, through its reflection. Previously I had photographed life on the island of Stromboli through marks left on the walls and on the black sand. In Virtigini I spontaneously and intuitively started to portray what is on the earth through its corresponding reflection in the sky. I had fun. I used a wide-angle lens, to assemble and disassemble graphic and geometric patterns on a two-dimensional surface representing a three-dimensional reality, one polluted and changed by a devastating human intervention, one that has invaded the built environment with cars, motorbikes, rubbish, road signs, and whatever horror it is possible to imagine. The central aim I set for myself was to show the innate beauty still present in the buildings, the statues and the architecture, especially in of the towns of Tuscany.
I immersed myself in the original splendour of the past but through a contemporary way of seeing. The result is a combination of past, present and future. I experience very strong sensations each time I direct my camera towards the sky, when I see the lines running towards infinity and I feel an extraordinary sense of freedom. To choose a new viewpoint means to break a habit which in turn means widening our consciousness, stretching our imagination to the limit, towards the unknown. By looking up it is possible to view a reality that is always present but that we are normally unaware of. Because habit makes us blind. Looking at reality from this point of view, which is not the only one, but just one of the possibilities, I continued my research, starting in Florence, my hometown, then in the other beautiful towns of Tuscany and also beyond, in Aix-en-Provence, Barcelona, New York. My exploration continues, I am imagining the possibilities that could emerge by looking up to the tops of the Dolomites or to the roofs of the “trulli” in Apulia. Maybe I will also consider human beings as buildings, how they look from different perspectives and unusual angle: how does infinity show itself through Nature? And how does the sky appear filtered through the branch and leaves of a centuries-old oak?…
Text by Gaetano Gentile
Gaetano Gentile was born in Florence in 1965. He studied photography for six months in England in 1986, and than attended the European Design School of Milan for three years. From 1988 to 1991 he worked with Maria Mulas while he attending the design school of AG Fronzoni. From 1990 he started working as a free-lance photographer and his photography book on Marino Marini sculptures was published. In 1991 Gentile had his first solo exhibition, at the Feltrinelli gallery in Milan of images made in Yemen. During the following years he has continued undertaking commissions for magazines and private buyers.
The images shown here are part of the exhibition Vertigini (“Vertigo”) that commences on May 22, 2009 in the Marino Marini Museum in Pistoia, Italy.