Fabiano Parisi is a photographer of contemporary ruins; industrial buildings, swimming pools, factories, mental asylums, villas and theatres. Travelling across the world to America and throughout Europe, he captures these beautiful, yet enigmatic, places that most of us will never see. Parisi began his career as a photographer following a degree in Psychology, coming to photography through a project photographing derelict asylums, which sparked his interest in the abandoned buildings which are the subject of his art practice today.
What is so striking about Parisi’s work is his use of light, his relationship not just to history but to the theme of the ruin in Art History, and the composition and surface of his work. The power of Parisi’s work lies in the strength and command of his image-making, never straying from a strictly symmetrical approach, which allows the viewer to assume his viewpoint within the building, the wide-angle lens giving a sense of depth and breadth, without compromising on detail. Parisi uses only natural light, shooting early in the morning. The colours and chiaroscuro are at their best at this time of day, and are left untouched by digital image manipulation software. Parisi’s photographs have an honesty and integrity that is part of what makes them so inviting. The artist often selects buildings with frescoed walls, which create an illusion of a painterly surface in his photographs and a textural sensibility that belies the photograph’s flat surface. His method highlights the patina of these forgotten places. The artist prints his work himself onto carefully chosen papers that enhance and maximise his colours and tones. Parisi has a strong relationship to Art History; the subject of the ruin was prevalent in the 18th and 19th Centuries, and interest is still strong today as evidenced by Tate Britain’s 2014 exhibition ‘Ruin Lust’. From painters such as Piranesi to Turner to Constable, Parisi is part of an important genre in art. Parisi’s work is conceptually driven yet beautiful, documentary yet also poetic. His photographs form important records of the contemporary ruins which are the repositories for so much human activity and memory. His work preserves these otherworldly locations, freezing them in a moment, to be enjoyed forever.
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