Michele Martinoli was born in Switzerland and now lives in London who first attracted our attention in the 2017 LOUDEST WHISPERS exhibition. She has exhibited in the gallery 5 times. On each occasion we have seen the photographer develop a striking view of the body that addresses issues of beauty and ambiguity to create a new language and narrative out of the universal subject of what is the human body. Alongside this theme the photographer has not shied away from confrontational ideas and in 2018 LOUDEST WHISPERS presented a powerful triptych of 3 women crucified on crosses that directly challenge the idea that oppression is not only a male subject. We are delighted to showcase the photographer as our artist of the month and asked the photographer these questions.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR OBSESSION WITH PHOTOGRAPHY
'Photography has been my abiding passion since childhood, hand-printing in a makeshift darkroom aged 14, taking B+W pictures of close friends with a 35mm Voigtlander rangefinder camera. My wish was to capture the beauty of my subjects, a type of appropriation; an unconscious part of my teenage years and sexual development. When I headed for London, the impact was immediate; the stark contrast of a city literally bursting with culture, music and fun ignited my creativity. In those embryonic heady days of the late 60's early 70's, London was the antithesis of my constrained childhood and the place I wanted to make my home.
Since the advent of digital, the perception of photography has changed; in a sense, this medium has opened the photographic world, it made it accessible, albeit with a techy brain to become a photographer. However, this does not legislate or in any way replace the eye of the photographer. The camera is the robot and the art form evolves and relies more on construction and postproduction of the image. The benefits include a wider scope of imagination and creation of images where knowledge resides on computer technology, 3D imaging, augmented reality and photoshop skills.'
Colin, Darius and Jermaine
TELL US ABOUT YOUR THEME AND INFLUENCES AS A PHOTOGRAPHER
'My development as a photographer through the 90’s and early 20’s was measured by my motivation to focus on the male aesthetic beauty. My models were my muses and in particular my son Zenaide who has been my permanent and enduring model since a very young age. When he was scouted by Marco Rasala, the fashion agency at age 17, I was also recruited by them to carry out test shoots for their ‘New Faces’. This went on for quite a few years and gave me the impetus to concentrate mainly on the male form during the best part of 15 years. At the time, a female lesbian fixing her gaze on the male body was somewhat controversial and subversive but it was welcomed by the notorious Blue Magazine in Australia and the gay Press here.
For my Degree in Photography and Multimedia in 2003 at The University of Westminster, I chose to study the works of Leni Riefensthal, Grace Lau and Dianora Niccolini in order to assess the female gaze on the male aesthetics from profoundly different perspectives.
My interests were allied with fashion photography and the representation of the Male. I was particularly inspired by Richard Avedon who excelled in achieving fine art not only in his private work but in his commissioned fashion photography. There is an array of geniuses in my lexicon of photographers, Lee Miller, Eve Arnold, Annie Leibovitz, Sally Mann and Nan Golding who all had a profound effect on me.'
HOW DO YOU SEE YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY PROGRESSING IN THE YEARS AHEAD
'Life is a process of osmosis whereby the assimilation of knowledge is gradual. In the 90’s, I knew what I wanted to portray, the male aesthetic in the 20th century. I wanted to educe and empower the male model to obtain a parity with the female model. I live through photographic images, everything for me is visual. I express myself through my art, not through my words.'
The Oppression of Women
Thank you Michele for being our ARTIST OF THE MONTH
MICHELE MARTINOLI email@example.com www.michelemartinoli.com Instagram: @michelemartinoli Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/michelemartinoli/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/michele.martinoli