Text Giacomo Andrea Minazzi
There are those images that do not have clear boundaries. They are places – forests, lakes, beaches, countryside, the family estate – not so important for the name, signifying a belonging, as for how they feel. You can feel the humidity of the English earth, the autumn leaves on the ground, the saltiness that leans a little on the skin. Does a sketch say more than a clean line?
There is a photographer who uses his body, his physicality, to take them – he runs, he drops the camera, he moves it with a precise gesture. He started as a child, when he was ten years old, with a Pentax S1a. He studied at Eton, but he abandoned it shortly afterwards – it was at the turn of the sixties and seventies, the school had not yet noticed the change that was happening in the rest of the world. There he shot Leavers pictures – tradition has it that students who are about to leave school are taken of official portraits – rather alternative ones. He goes to London, he works with Kubrick in Barry Lyndon for a year and then, when he was eighteen years old, in Africa with a German doctor for a humanitarian association. Then again in London, where he began his career as a photographer – Harper & Queen, Deluxe, Interiors, Vogue Italia. Then he comes home, he has to take care of Goodwood, the family estate. He continues to be a photographer, but only late at night.
There is a name, but it continues to change. You are born Lord Settrington, but when your grandfather dies, you will become Earl of March and you stay for so many years. When your father dies, however, your name changes again, you become the forefather of your family, you are the Duke of Richmond – the documents change every time. These are the whims of the English, ancient, true, unchanged aristocracy. I am a dress, repeating the name of the person you are talking to, a tight accent or a sincere but contained laugh.
There is an evolution that cannot be ignored. «People believed in the magic of photography in the nineties: when you created an illusion with the lens, you were really successful, you did not do it with Photoshop. Today we are no longer surprised at anything». Perhaps, the only wonder left is that of an emotion.