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PORTFOLIO

21.02.2017

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During Paris Photo in November 2016, Giovanni Del Brenna approached more than 300 people to ask if he may take their picture, working with the Leica S and the Summarit-S 70mm f/2.5 Asph. Most of them agreed – probably greatly helped by Del Brenna’s assurance that it was not their faces he was interested in.


Are the pictures that we see here actually portraits, in fact?

Yes, of course they are – in the sense that they aim to express something about the personality of the person being portrayed.


You keep the face, or at least the eyes, of those being photographed hidden from the viewer. Why is that?

Because I think it’s a distraction. A face immediately draws all the attention, as if we think it provides the complete answer about someone’s identity. If I avoid facial features, other details begin to have more of a voice – all the things that someone makes use of in order to be perceived in a certain way. This gives the viewer the chance to draw their own conclusions about the type of person it could be, based on these meta messages – beyond all kinds of interpretations arising from a seemingly easily-read, brief emotion revealed through the expression on someone’s face.


Read the complete interview with Giovanni Del Brenna in LFI 2/2017, available as of February 24, 2017.

Giovanni Del Brenna

Giovanni del Brenna, born in Genoa, Italy, in 1974, studied mechanical engineering in Milan before deciding to dedicate his life to photography, studying documentary photography at the International Center of Photography (ICP) in New York from 2001 to 2002. After that he worked as an assistant to James Nachtwey for two years. In 2015 he moved to France and the following year began working on the project about Paris presented in the M Magazine No. 5, which has now found a climatic sequel in the series shown here.

www.giovannidelbrenna.com
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