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  • 28 Marzo 2009

    99 ragioni per vivere in italia

    Elle issue (Italy) still on the shelves but it came out about a month ago in Milan (Italy) during the fashion shows (italian) and on the cover it shouts: 99 reasons to be happy in Italy.
    Amongst them surely it won’t say to be a fashion photographer (italian).
    For a matter of fact below here (which I’ll mash up a little not to give them some useless advertising) are all the photographers all foreign and featured on this issue:
    Matt JoXXes
    Karl LageXXeld
    David BuXXon
    Marcelo KraXXlcic
    Luis SaXXhis
    Paulo Suxxh (doing a still life on white background!)
    Jason KibXXer
    During the same days (if it wasn’t clear, the week during which the italian fashion was unveiled to the world here in Milan, Italy) there was an opening at the regional gallery of the exhibition titled “beauty interpreted by the best photographers from the thirties till today”, sponsored also by the City of Milan (Italy).
    In this exhibition there wasn’t one italian photographer.
    Not one.
    Gianpaolo Barbieri, for example? Not there.

    no comments


    27 Marzo 2009


    Tomorrow morning, Saturday, at 11:30 I will chat with my friend Luca Pianigiani at the Canon stand…


    26 Marzo 2009

    nicola guiducci & saturnino

    As I was saying earlier, there are some pleasant surprises when doing this job:
    I was in my studio doing things being busy when my phone rang, it was my friend Saturnino.
    “Settimio! Where are you?!?!”
    “Satu! I’m in my studio, come by!”
    “I’m coming, because I’m going next to you to interview Nicola”
    “you are interviewing Nicola?!? I am coming to immortalize the moment!”

    And so in no time I found myself taking a portrait of a giant of the bass (it’s not an oxymoron, it’s the truth) like Saturnino together with a giant of music in general and of creativity like Nicola Guiducci.

    The photo above can be seen better here a href=”http://disk.benedusi.it/satu_guiducci/satu+guiducci.jpg” target=”_blank”>http://disk.benedusi.it/satu_guiducci/satu+guiducci.jpg


    22 Marzo 2009

    benedusi_thorimbert: last one switch off the light…

    Here we are, each one back to their respective homes, I write on my blog, my friend toni on his.
    We did some kind of home web swap, and I liked it. I have to say that Toni and his family behaved very well, I didn’t find chaos, everything was in order and clean: well done!

    I would like though to reflect on this and, for once, I might be serious and schematic.

    – I’ll start from general: I loved this all thing of swapping, I said it already. I liked it a lot in the sense that it is one of those things for which internet has a point. It is not enough to post the link of whom we like, infact I do not have that and maybe I never will. You need, between people that like and appreciate each other, to create communicating networks, in order to let the experiences, the knowledge, the affinities and whatever else to pass from one another. Besides it is a mistake to make such a comparison above with communicating networks, because in our case mentioned above the magic happens that the levels do not average but the lowest only moves to the higher. Unfortunately our activity, but I do think that it includes anyone else, is a solitary activity. We are always folded on ourselves, and the temptation to say and think “I, I, I, I, I, I …” is very strong. With “I, I, I, I, I, I …” you won’t get anywhere, you have to think of US.

    – Attached to all this there is another thought: there is everything and more on the internet, we know it very well. Obviously there is everything and more also concerning our field: photography. I think that the use of a website like mine has to evolve into some kind of platform in which the infinite internet “mare magnum” is filtered by my taste, from my affinities, and from what I am. I would really love that my new website, that will be launched very soon, after infinite travails, could desire to become a big home where there could be my room but also many other rooms of people, photographers, restauranteurs, hotels, models, friends, architects… where I will work hard (and they will towards me) towards affinities. In any case the first room, the one with the best view and the sun that shines on it all the time will always be toni’s…

    – let’s leave the general feeling, and get to the specific, toni thorimbert: first of all I would like to take a step back and go back as far as my beginnings, in which toni had a finger in the pie. I come from the Liguria province and arrived in Milan when I was about twenty years old. Without knowing anything or anyone, threw myself in there, with the dream of becoming a photographer. I had some kind of a portfolio, done with friends back in Imperia. I got there with a classic mix of shyness and arrogance typical of someone beginning. The arrogance was such that I thought well to jump the whole idea of assisting, to propose myself to a newspaper: like that, jeopardized! I then went to a news stand and bought all, I mean all, the newspapers and magazines that were available. Flipping through I found an editorial that I loved so much, if I’m not mistaken it was done by using a crowd from a rock concert as models (right toni?). The magazine was duepiù (which doesn’t exist anymore from quite sometimes) and the photographers was someone by the name of toni thorimbert. I took the tram and headed towards mondadori and, with beginners luck, I got my first editorial for that exact magazine, for which I went back to Imperia to shoot it with my friends. When I then understood that to become a photographer it wasn’t enough call yourself a photographer but you needed to know the profession, I stopped being a photographer and began assisting. But this is another story…

    – I am going even deeper in the specific, to toni’s answers: the books: we’ve skimmed them one by one, with avendon… the photographic cameras: toni, with my greatest admiration, used the optic bench and the six by six for a long time, creating beautiful imagery with these instruments. I righteously quote it. Although now, he uses, righteously, digital format. But he is right, a PHOTOGRAPHER, has to know how to use those cameras, they have to be in his DNA. The digital equipment: I’d say we all agree, a photographer has to use MAC, nothing else. The magazines: well! Here we see toni’s passion for motorbikes… anyways (is it a case?) there isn’t an italian fashion magazine… The music: ok massive attack, but here toni could give more… 😉 the movies: great choices. Of stanley kubrick I would have also said barry lindon, for the crazy use of lighting and for the presence of a great model, marisa berenson (which I have photographed a few times, and I have asked her all emotional about the experience…) the three photographs: obviously impeccable choices. Somewhat choices made similar to mine, in the sense that in his first photograph, shot when he was very young, there is already everything. The first photo shoot: here toni says something beautiful and righteous in our line of work. You are all quiet and realxed in your studio, someone calls you and sends you to take pictures of monkeys’ asses in bengala. And we pack and we go… mistake: right! Art to buy: damn! I also would have liked to have said mollino! Studio: toni’s new studio is beautiful with a beautiful natural light, more than welcome to do it the same again! Garage: I did mention that this question was at his use and abuse! 😉 clothing: toni is, as you’d think of a great photographer, really elegant… 😉

    – in short this is all. I really think this won’t be an isolated case, my little blog, dear toni, is at your and you friend’s disposal. Do what you want to do. On one condition: that the last one switches off the light…

    Off course you can see all the comments of this whole thing on toni’s blog, here is the http://tonithorimbert.blogspot.com/


    19 Marzo 2009

    toni thorimbert vs settimio benedusi second part

    Second part of the interview with toni thorimbert
    You will find my answers, obviously, on his blog http://www.tonithorimbert.blogspot.com/

    Settimio benedusi: With a lot of hard work you manage to recover some of your files from a LaCie that the fire spared. Miraculously very few of your images were saved. You hope that are these three…

    Toni thorimbert: this is not a question, this is torture, it’s self inflicted pain!!!
    I realise that I am completely unprepared to answer this question. Anyways because this is a game I will choose three that surely will be on the money, then tomorrow morning another three hundred will come to mind from which I could have chosen and that I will deem more important. Anyways on the first one (01 Piotello http://disk.benedusi.it/toni_pioltello/01%20pioltello.tif) I don’t have many doubts. Practically, that’s me (even though obviously I am not) and behind it there are the huge buildings where I grew up, in Piotello. The photograph was part of a series I presented in the final exams at the Umanitaria school of photography. It was 1974 and I was a little older than my subject. I always saw myself in that little boy and his fighter attitude. Infact his attitude, and mine as a photographer, coincide perfectly… we are both showing off our guns!

    (02 quarto oggiaro http://disk.benedusi.it/toni_quarto/02%20quarto%20oggiaro.jpg) the secnd one is a fashion photograph shot in quarto oggiaro, another suburb in milan. It’s 1994, much later after the first one, in any case a moment in the big turn. One of the very few photographs that, suggested by peter lindbergh, I took with me to new york. A photograph which has always been a small revolution because not only it reevaluated the suburb as a “location”, but also as a mental and symbolic condition, it put back into play, especially in the fashion shoot, the usual dynamics: you show yourself, I photograph you. Here things got complicated, the image layers became stratified, as in the relations of the characters…

    (03 macerie http://disk.benedusi.it/toni_macerie/03%20macerie.jpg) as the last one I chose this one, taken three years ago, proof that the world has only gotten worst from then.
    Also a fashion photograph, taken for Io Donna.
    I always told it like this: “we all walk, dressed impeccably, on the world’s rubble”.

    SB: Your portfolio is obviously charred,you have recovered three images from the LaCie but they are few. Having to start all over again, what is the first photo shoot you’d like to do?

    TT: one thing I love about this job is that I could be in my studio taken by something completely different and the phone rings and someone proposes to shoot a person or a theme for an editorial which I have never thought about. I don’t always accept and not always, when I accept, its what I would have like to have done, but I like this “russian roulette”effect. Anyways my ideas for a photoshoot are as such that, when I propose them, nobody wants them. Maybe they aren’t commercial enough. Even with people and magazines with which I have worked for years, when I propose something, I see terror or worst, emptiness, painted on their face, I don’t know why…
    I make an example: I find interesting those who loose battles, not the losers, but the great fighters that loose, that disappear, that suffer, but the newspapers always want the pictures of the one that laughs because he won. Therefore I have given up a little and, with the outmost respect, I associate myself to helmut newton: “I am a gun for hire…”

    SB: To start all over again has it’s advantages: you can avoid some mistakes of the past. Professionally, besides employing the assistant that burned down your studio, what mistakes would you try to avoid?

    TT: I have to admit that I would do everything all over again, even the inevitable mistakes, seeing that today I am here and very well.
    From time to time I have a feeling of regret, I don’t know, maybe I could have bought a motorbike before, or perhaps some “hardship” from the past, which at the end they were merely camouflaged insecurities, stopped me from deepening and enjoying some relationship with the others.
    I could have had more holidays, I think…

    SB: Amongst all this tough luck, an old family member of yours passes away, shame. An old uncle from America centenary eccentric and super rich. His legacy is unlimited one some conditions: you can spend the money only by investing it in modern art: which are the first three art pieces or artists that you would buy and why, and what would be the first three photographic pieces you would invest into?

    TT: if my budget was unlimited I’d say:
    Hopper. (yes, really hooper. Seen for real his paintings loose completely the “poster” effect and they are beautiful) of his I prefer his small canvases.
    In photography I’d say:
    A naked portrait by Mollino on polaroid 10X12
    Helmut newton. I just saw now on ARTE a quote at an auction of a 30X40 by newton which went for 30.000 euros. The same subject, same measurements, photology gallery had one 3 / 4 years ago for less than a half the price. I have to say that, of newton I would never buy the big nudes or similar, but instead a nice old small 30X40. I don’t know, perhaps the one with Rampling sitting facing her back on the table at the nord pinus hotel in arles…

    SB: Your old studio was in Bovisa, with your uncle’s money, you can buy a new one wherever you wish. Where would you buy it?

    TT: strange question. I have just bought and renovated my new studio in milan, so I have to, no to lie to myself, say in milan.
    Maybe it would be cooler to say new york or copacabana. Because it is a game, I could get away by saying that I would buy it where I could re sell it at the best price in a year.

    SB: This studio, thanks heavens, has a substantial garage.
    What would you put inside?

    TT: a question that one should never answer with frankness: a man’s garage bares his soul: ok, I’ll answer, but it is not to say that it’s the truth: an ample tool box (please note that I am quite unsuited, but if you have a bike you have to have a few tools). A mountain bike, a scooter beta eikon 150 and a yamaha tmax, my yamaha TRX 850, a R1 with irregular firing, a speed triple, a ducati 1198R, a motocross with no number plates, a trailer for the bikes, a chainsaw, a weed wacker, a BMW M5 dark blue, a flaming yellow porsche like oliviero toscani’s one, an audi Q7, black, definitely with tinted rear windows, an old laverda 750 kept like god taught me, an off road toyota 4runner petrol, all the motorbike suits by dainese and the helmets by arai, boots, gloves, and on the wall a calendar of naked women photographed by settimio benedusi…

    SB: You cannot pitch up in front of your clients with your jailbird outfit, and even less on set: what is your “photographer’s outfit”?

    TT: a metal gray suit, slightly shiny, or totally black, by tonello or dior (also those by costme national aren’t bad) a blue trench by victor & rolf, a leather jacket by gerard loft and, impossible to live or work without, an original bomber AF1 and a pair of jeans by edwin (for the shoes you’d need a whole new blog).