Pictures of an Impermanent World / Claudio Santambrogio / Italy
Opening April 17, 2015
Amber Museum, Vasilevsky Square 1
Pictures of an Impermanent World
Claudio Santambrogio – an Italian photographer who came to photography through music and art.
He made his first pictures on a Rolleiflex camera, which he got from his grandfather on the maternal side. Now he is mostly working with a Deardorf camera from 1930, with which he travels around the world, leaving traces everywhere in the form of unique images and daguerreotypes. His old cameras and lenses, the craft of print making, and the presentation of the photographs allow the viewer to see the world through the eyes of time.
Photographer, musician, linguist, who speaks eight languages, Claudio did a lot for the development of modern photography. His works are in galleries, museums and private collections in The Netherlands, Great Britain, Italy and Russia.
The photographs pay attention to subtle nuances and shades, conveying subtle gradations of emotions through a concise expression that has its root in Japan, revealing the photographer's passion for Japanese art. At the heart of his work is the notion of “mono no aware”, the hidden charm of things: enchanted by the beauty of things – a flower, a young person, the facade of a building – yet tinged by a shade of sadness, close to the Buddhist understanding of the illusory nature and the transiency of the manifested material world.
His work can also be understood through the prism of Japanese poetry. Concise, and sensual, like a haiku. Fleeting beauty, encased in a photograph.
The artist draws the viewer's attention to minute details, water reflections, shadows, he finds beauty in the curves of a female body, in the branches of trees, in the twilight streets.
Work on each photo takes several weeks – from planning and execution, to film development and to making the print.
The darkroom, the inner sanctum of the artist, is the place where in dark shadows lit by red light his works of art see the light of the world...
Claudio Santambrogio is a photographer and flutist.
He has been active as a flutist both in the field of early as well as contemporary music, specializing on period instruments, and he is a member of The Modena Consort.
He is a self-taught photographer, working exclusively with analogue film cameras, primarily with large format cameras. He prefers to work with historical lenses, mounted in barrels without a shutter. This allows for the flexibility of manual exposure with the help of lens caps. He develops and processes the negatives and prints with traditional photographic craft and chemicals, often making use of historical photographic techniques.
A lot of his photographic research is dedicated to historical photographic and printing processes, including photogenic drawings, calotypes, salt prints, albumen prints, daguerreotypes, platinum prints, gum bichromate, as well as lith prints.
He is working at the Conservatorio della Fotografia near Milano (Italy), a centre for analog photography and traditional photographic printing, making direct colour and black-and-white prints from negatives, as well as printing with various alternative and historic techniques.
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