The Italian photographer Lorenzo Papadia examines the surrounding reality and its details through his lens. Passionate about Polaroids and film photography, he tries to catch all common objects that are usually ignored to bring them back to our attention.
I really like to clearly investigate all my subjects in a rational way, doing inspections and, once understood and made familiar, I prefer to get close to them in a more spontaneous way.
Which is your first photographic memory?
My first photographic memory is an image taken when I was a child. I’m referring now to a portrait of me with a pony. In my eyes I had a great astonishment and a great desire to discover the world. This image is fixed in my mind, but it got probably lost.
Could you describe yourself with a movie?
I think that “Big Fish” reflects me so much. If you realize that reality and magic can merge one into the other, life can be considered a wonderful experience.
Which of your pictures would you choose to introduce yourself?
I would probably go for a picture I took to the Arcimboldi Theatre, in Milan. The place seems to lose its original aspect and transform itself into a new abstraction.
A famous picture, not yours, you would have liked to take.
I consider myself a romantic person, and I love Le baiser de l’hôtel de ville by Doisneau. The shot collects everything: the beauty of two young lovers, the quick development the metropolis is involved into, while the world stops into a kiss, in an instant.
We love Polaroids and the blurry imperfect atmosphere they involved. Why did you choose analytical photography to depict your surrounding reality?
In my Polaroids I try to pay attention to the composition, to the construction of the image and to the selection of the subject, without leaving any detail to chance. At the same time, I really like to ask to the camera and to the film the final result, its chromatic shades, the final effect. In fact, I really like to clearly investigate all my subjects in a rational way, doing inspections and, once understood and made familiar, I prefer to get close to them in a more spontaneous way.
I consider myself a romantic person, and I love Le baiser de l’hôtel de ville by Doisneau.
“Fade Point” collects instants of Summer through beaches and seaside spots located in the Southern Italy. There, the landscape remains blurred and things are evanescent. Everything seems poetically permeated by a veil of mystery. How do you recreate the atmosphere we perceive from your artworks?
To me, atmosphere is as much important as the frame and the planning of the photograph. I try and shoot when light is so bright that I can give a few things back to frame, more than others that stay hidden in the shadow. My images don’t work only for what it is visible but for what is hidden as well!
Through your visual tales, the observer lives a journey through the Salento area, its colors, its smells, and the magic hidden into the South of Italy, your homeland. Which relationship do you have with your lands?
To me the land where I live is a continuous point of inspiration, it is the place where my eyes start learning how to observe, where my desire of imagination and creation develops without keeping my eyes away from the sea.
We noticed that the sea is quite frequent in the background of your series “Fade Point”. What is hidden behind this choice? What’s the deeper meaning of sea into your series?
Sea is not only a physical place to me, it is mostly an element where to sink into thoughts. The images I show to my public are images of thinking and I like the fact that the element of the sea is still there, and it represents it symbolically.
Your landscapes are sunny and silent; they are empty and no human beings are present in there. Why do you avoid the human presence into your artworks?
I love to think that people reading my photographs are asking themselves where everybody is going.
If I had been able to write, I would have probably chosen poetry. The most important thing is to express what is hidden inside.
What are you thinking at while taking a shot?
I am there till the moment when I click the button, before disappearing for one thousandth second. At that moment my subject and me merge, I do not exist anymore as a simple thinking man. This is the Fade Point.
In “Bootleg” you depict urban details, part of buildings and outdoor environments. Architecture dominates the setting of your scenes and a sense of order and composition emerges from your shots. Through your visual tales, you give a new dignity to the subjects of your series. How do you select the subjects of your Polaroids?
I pay a careful attention to my architectural subjects, that I chose after making studies both on the territory where I live and outside it.
Which role does photography play in your life? Why do you choose photography to express yourself?
Many reasons lead me to choose photography. One of them, the most important one for me, is that it makes me feel good. I consider photography closer to me than any other language. If I had been able to write, I would have probably chosen poetry. The most important thing is to express what is hidden inside.
Does social media help you develop your career as a photographer?
Sure, I guess it has probably helped me to build my career.
What leads you to become a professional photographer?
I have strongly desired to transform my biggest passion into my work. The circumstance is leading gradually to a few results.
Your next project.
I’m now involved into developing a photographic series dedicated to analyzing the concepts of nature and memory.
Your main flaw and quality.
My main flaw is my bad memory. The quality: I’m very stubborn.
Make a wish.
I would like to thank my dad, the person who taught me how to look at things that surround me and love them strongly. I wish my thought reached him, anywhere he is right now.
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