After the death of Mario Giacomelli (1925-2000), two different archives with his work were established in 2003: the one in Sassoferrato and another one in Senigallia. Since 2007, the heirs Giacomelli became directors of the photographic heritage, taking over the management from Photology in Milan.
The Mario Giacomelli Sassoferrato archive contains about 12,000 photographs of Sassoferrato (including different printing techniques), their contact sheets and negatives. The operational character of the Sassoferrato Archive is to provide a framework in a philological way of the production of Giacomelli, in the context in which the artist has worked. In this way it offers an all-round view of this great artist who is world famous but from whom paradoxically many important aspects remain unclear.
The Sassoferrato Archive promotes a new way of looking at Mario Giacomelli, by highlighting his working method; the totally coherent structure that holds his entire production and is Giacomelli’s unique style. For Giacomelli art and life were intrinsically linked and each series was created in close connection with all the others. Under The Skin Of Reality concentrates on the following series:
– Poesie in cerca d’autore (70s/2000)
– Motivo suggerito dal taglio dell’albero (1967-1969)
– 31 dicembre (1997)
– Favola, verso possibili significativi interiori (1983-1984)
– Metamorfosi della terra (1955-1980)
– Presa di coscienza sulla natura (1997-2000)
– Bando (1997-1999)
– La domenica prima (2000, his last work made shortly before his death)
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About the Author
Giacomelli was a self-taught photographer. At 13, he left high school, began working as a typesetter and spent his weekends painting. After the horrors of World War II, he turned to the more immediate medium of photography. He wandered the streets and fields of post-war Italy, inspired by the gritty Neo-Realist films of Vittorio De Sica and Roberto Rossellini, and influenced by the renewed Italian photographer Giuseppe Cavalli, eventually developing a style characterized by bold compositions and stark contrasts.
One of Giacomelli's most iconic images, Scanno Boy (1957) consists of a picture portraying a group of women walking towards the observer with only one single and central object in focus: a boy walking with his hands in his pockets. In 2013 the name of the boy has been revealed by Simona Guerra: researcher and niece of Mario Giacomelli as Claudio De Cola. On October 19, 1957, the day Giacomelli took the photo, De Cola was emerging from the Church of Sant'Antonio in Padua like many of the people around him, after the Mass. De Cola, now in his sixties and no longer a resident of Scanno, recognised himself in the picture. Further evidence was provided by his mother Teopista, who produced several other pictures of the boy.
Apart from Scanno, Giacomelli's most successful series are The Landscapes (1954-2000) and I Pretini (Little Priests) (1961-1963), a transcription of the everyday life of a group of young priests, resulted from documenting Post-War Italian seminaries.
Giacomelli's work is present in many internationally acclaimed museums permanent collection, including Castello di Rivoli in Turin, the Brooklyn Museum in New York, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Metropolitan Museum in New York, and the Art Institute of Chicago.
Katiuscia Biondi is a philosophy graduate whose structuralist and deconstructionalist analysis of language thesis was written under the tuition of the esteemed Jacques Derrida. In addition, she has worked for Pequod publishers, at the same time writing exhibition catalogues for emerging artists – Katiuscia is always on the lookout for new talents. With her mother, Rita Giacomelli, she controls the archive of Mario Giacomelli-Sassoferrato.
Katiuscia is an artist in her own right, painting in a style that is removed from traditional figurative, instead leaning more towards basic principles that make good use of crucial lines and colours.