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).