Luca Campigotto

December 27, 2011

I adored Luca Campigotto’s dark, huge and moody photographs from the moment I saw them at a special exhibition of the Venice Biennale in 1998.  Who knew that he would also become a dear friend? Turns out, Luca the person, is as beguiling, intelligent and impressive as are his photographs.

Luca is a Venetian, which accounts for the lion’s share of his considerable charm. Wandering through Venice at night with him is a rare privilege – which you can experience in the slide show which he has generously allowed me to reproduce below. What you need to understand is that these photographs are huge! Imagine their power when blown up to four feet square! They are nocturnal landscapes which engulf you. Luca writes about his work with a  film noir flair. His writing reveals his intelligence and the core of dramatic romanticism which animates his work.

“It was pitch-black and the windshield wiper was dragging the dirt up and down the glass. I was leaning forward as I drove, zigzagging my way between the puddles, with the headlights darting here and there as if looking for a fugitive in the undergrowth. A slow song was playing on the radio, almost drowned out by the sound of the fan heater. The mobile phone on the passenger seat lay silent. ‘Madame’ was unlikely to call back. She was a night-owl but it was too late even for her. Another missed chance to have a drink with her, I thought to myself, convinced that she would have liked to explore those mysterious places.

Personally, I love industrial areas: they are my patch; I feel at home there. The cracked asphalt that gleams in the light, rising up to form a crust when it crosses the rail tracks. The tall outlines of the towers and bridges, blacker than the sky outside the window. The cranes that rise up like the necks of dinosaurs from behind the illuminated smoke. The strange lights: too bright or almost impossible to see, dying out the further they get from the city walls. And then the electronic gates, and the cabins of the night watchmen. And, every now and then, a parked car here or there: lovers hiding between stacks of pipes and deserted train carriages.”

More of Luca’s amazing photographs, texts and CV are available at All Images © Luca Campigotto, All Rights Reserved

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