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  • 30 ottobre 2009


    Hot, just out of the press is the new MAX issue. Inside there is an article on elena di ciocco, truly adorable and likeable.

    here you will also find a backstage video (thank you elena!)

    11 DICIOCCIO-1


    27 ottobre 2009


    I already had this luck: I did the cover for sports illustrated SA!



    25 ottobre 2009


    Yes, once again and for the third time consecutively I took part of “Italy’s next top model”, the talent show based on the world of fashion and its models on channel sky uno. Last Friday the first episode was aired with a photoshoot done by me.

    I honestly have to say that it is a lot of fun, as it is something completely different from what I normally do. Even better, to be more precise, it is nothing different strictly photographically speaking: I prepare the shooting and I take the pictures exactly as if I was shooting for a magazine. It is completely different instead everything regarding the handling and organization, which (unfortunately!) it is always the most important and tiring,  in a production company.

    To say it in a few words, I do not have to worry about who is coming/when/who eats/who drinks/where we do hair and make up/where we are changing/permits/contracts/options/who can… in short all the thousand elements which shouldn’t be part of a photographic shoot but not only they end up being part of, but more often become more complicated than the shoot itself…

    Therefore when working for Italy’s next, which by the way it is produced by a big production company (magnolia), I really enjoy myself: I arrive, say a few stupid things and do my job, clean and simple. For once I really feel like the professional hit man, the sort that arrives all silent and tranquil, takes one shot and goes back home.. Jokes aside, it is really almost like that!

    And also, I admit it, when on air I even get emotional! Seriously! And there is one thing to say, which is maybe the most important out of all of them: it is all real. I understand that as an outsider you can say that on television “it’s all staged”, “it’s all scripted”, “it’s all fake”… it isn’t, at least not on this show: the models all start from the same level and the ones that convince us the most make ti to the next level. Done.

    If you like the show keep on following it, because there will be some interesting new things…

    Below here are two of my favourite photos, and a bit of backstage done by giorgio.









    22 ottobre 2009


    A small issue, I want to write it so I don’t forget it, I swear it’s true:

    The intercom at home is broken.

    We called the body corporate to get someone to fix it.

    Such person came to repair (the intercom).

    He came to the house to do the repairs.

    He rings the bell.

    The intercom (what do you know!) doesn’t work.

    We don’t answer.

    The person leaves.

    We call him the day after.

    “yesterday you didn’t come!”

    “I did come, I buzzed, but you didn’t answer!”

    No comment


    19 ottobre 2009



    I packed my bags and left, yet another time, to shoot in south africa.

    I would like, I think I’ve never done it before, to give a few pointers for travelers:

    < class=Bullet>•   The best luggage, in my opinion, is samsonite. But there is a slight problem: everybody has one. I therefore would suggest you to buy it in an unusual colour (not black!) and do something I’ve been doing for years: write your own surname nice and big on each side. So to hope that you reduce the amount of loss or theft. Always attach the tag with your name and surname. Hold onto scrupulously the ticket they give you at the check in. If you have many pieces of luggage do not try remember the look, but remember how many: if at departure there were five, five they must be at arrival.

    •   When you are packing your luggage find out exactly what is the climate of the place in which you are going. It’s not enough that you know if it is hot/cold. There are places where it is always hot (maldives), there are places where it is hot during the day and cold during the night (desert), there are places where it is very windy (cape town!)… and therefore clothing must be packed accordingly

    •   A while ago before leaving one would exchange money, from lira to the foreign exchange: forget about it. First of all there are cash machines all over the world (where they call them ATM) where you can withdraw the foreign exchange, exactly like in italy. Besides that the euro is now used as an exchange value of reference more than the dollar, therefore you can also pay in euro almost everywhere in the world

    •   Ok, it would seem a little yappy, but believe me: try to fly in business. Nowadays the price difference with economy is not exorbitant.

    •   Not all airlines are the same, and the difference in the way you are treated can be enormous: if you have more options look up on the internet for comments and choose the best

    •   The air fare is probably the most complicated thing man has ever invented. The person sitting right next to you might have payed half, or double, compared to you, even though he’s flying exactly like you. With that wonderful invention that is the internet (and it is especially for the travel business…) look for the best fares, also by trying to pick the perfect day and hours in the best way: maybe a flight leaving the day after costs half the day you chose

    •   Do not start clapping when the plane lands. Ok, I know, you don’t do it, but tell the others not to do it. Many people still do it. Besides the fact that it is creepy, the pilot is behind a bullet proof door, and he will never hear that applause…

    •   Try not to stand up as soon as the plane lands. I wonder why is it that when the plane touches down everyone stands up to run out: stay calm damn it! It’s going to be a while before they open those doors! Besides if it is a shitty airport (as it happens very often) and you have to catch a bus to get to the terminal, the last one to get off the plane will get off first from the bus…

    •   All airport taxi drivers are out to get you, they even do it in milan! Imagine I don’t know, in rio de janeiro…try find out before what is the tariff of airport transfers: otherwise you might risk paying the taxi ride more that the flight…

    •   Avoid buying bullshit. During souvenir shopping exists the very precise rule of distance: the more you are distant from your house the more these objects seem beautiful. The tribal mask which you thought while in the village that it might look real good in your home in milan will effectively look like shit once it is there.

    •   Avoid taking photographs and videos constantly: ok, now with the digital era they don’t cost a thing, therefore everyone photographs everything. You have to live the place, not photograph them and film them!

    •   If you want to eat good and healthy forget about the “typical local trattoria”: they only barely exist in small towns out in the italian country side, just to make an example, there are no “typical local trattoria” in brazil and maybe there have never been. Instead there are (including brazil!) bio/natural/organic restaurants everywhere in the world: go there

    •   ………….

    Now if you don’t mind this is it, one of the rules are to go to bed early to sleep… I will try to continue another time…

    I am a little bit disappointed to have engaged in writing the list of the good traveller, avoiding telling you what I’ve done during these days in cape town: I would have some things to tell you!

    I can though just tell you meanwhile what has happened in italy: the cover page I did with melissa satta for panorama is out now

    Here below is the cover, and two images taken by daria longinotti.

    Have a great week!





    11 ottobre 2009



    It is strange for me to say it, for the job that I do, but I do not care about beauty: strange isn’t it?

    I do not care about it in the way that I see beauty in a “darwinian/illuminist” kind of way. So I think that beauty is what is useful.

    For example I think that we dislike a turd because it is harmful to our system, while I think a peach seems marvelous because it is useful for a good diet.

    In the same way a beautiful body and face are beautiful because our animal instinct makes us believe that they are useful to better transmit our species: it is well known that the animal species (righteously!) choose the strongest male to copulate, in the hope that their descent is always at its best.

    In this context I perceive beauty in a way that I would like it to be less “animalistic”, but above all dictated from something that would privilege the intellect to the instinct. Therefore I do not like the too perfect beauty, too smoothed, too absolute.

    Always more often I see perfect (models and not) people: beautifully modified breasts, fine drawn lips, sculpted muscles, flowing hair and perfect skin: I find all this annoying.

    The spell binding beauty in my opinion is always imperfect. I feel that a beautiful imperfections spell binds us, more than a perfect banality.

    In all these theories I thought of giving my very own small small contribution: in the recent issue of STYLE, with one of my editorials, they asked me to write a column and a photograph that would tell my story. The column is what it is, the photograph is a portrait where I purposely tried to be as real as possible: no photoshop, straight forward lighting and a pitiful detail on my little face. All in the picture here above, and even better if you click on it.

    As to say: here I am, and if I want the truth from the others, I am the first to show it!

    Many told me I was crazy, and that I looked like a ninety years old aids patient: fantastic!

    I don’t want to be beautiful, I want to be real…


    8 ottobre 2009


    I promise you, I will try to bring: midgets, ballerinas, fire eaters, the tallest man int he world, crazy models, diane arbus in person, tight rope walkers, toni thorimbert, bass and bassists, roberto saviano in person without police escort, sozzani, runaway iranian models… in short I will do my best to make it fun…


    fotografica 2009, on the 26 of November.


    8 ottobre 2009

    IRVING PENN 1917-2009

    Yesterday, at 92 years of age, irving penn passed away, one of the greatest american photographers: still lifeist (?), portraitist, advertising and fashion photographer. In fact, a really great artist.

    Numerous are his masterpieces that he has created a career spanning forty years.

    I’ve always really liked  his nudes which he started creating when, I think it happens a bit to everyone, he started maybe to get a little bored of fake and stereotyped beauty which he was photographing everyday.



    He was the inventor of the point of view. I don’t think there is a photographer in the world who hasn’t done at least once a photograph in the mythical penn’s point of view. Like all inventions it is so simple it might seem banal, but for that reason exactly it is extraordinary.

    Even your favourite dickhead (I…), and excuse the useless leading role, once used the mythical point of view: I had to take a picture of marisa berenson, which before becoming a great actress (barry lyndon!) she was equally a great model, photographed extensively by penn. I therefore thought that it was a righteous homage to take the picture like He would have photographed her: I even used a good 20X25 optical bench.

    Dear irving penn, I could have told you before, now it is of little use: I am sorry!



    6 ottobre 2009


    ELECTORAL OFFICE OF THE WHITE HOUSE: hello? Am I speaking to Mrs Norm?

    SHE: yes I am.. Who’s speaking?

    OFFICE: the white house. We would like to ask you who do you think will win the next presidential elections.

    SHE: [bothered] again? Someone has already called me from survey inc and also from, or whatever the name is. I can’t stand these surveys no more. Look for someone else.

    OFFICE: ma’am, this is not a survey: these are the real elections. You are the only person that we’ll ask! You know, if we are not going to ask you…

    SHE: if we are not going to ask you, if we are not going to ask you… you all say that. Why me?

    OFFICE: haven’t they explained it to you? Because you are the perfect least champion! Our PLC. The PLC of all survey institutes, and as of today of the white house as well. You, mrs norm, are the dream of all national stats men, the living paradox of the theory of probability!

    SHE: excuse me?

    OFFICE: you are our PLC! All survey institutes have been working for years to get to the interviewed champion. You can understand, with all the running costs to make all those phonecalls. We have always experimented on smaller numbers of champions: thousands, hundreds, ten people… the most important thing is that the opinions of the champion reflect the ones of the population. Didn’t you know that this is how survey work? To ask a few to know the opinion of many. For a long time they wanted to change the voting with the surveys, but up to now we couldn’t trust it. Until we discovered you. We discovered that you, mrs norm, have the opinions reflecting the majority of americans, like isaac asimov’s fictional character mr muller. Any question asked, you will always answer like the majority of the americans. Therefore we are ready for the big step. You will give us the result of the presidential elections.. So, are you ready? Who do you think will win?

    SHE: wait a minute: are you saying that whatever I will answer now is exactly what the majority is thinking about now?

    OFFICE: exactly. You just have to tell us if the republicans will win or the democrats..

    SHE: and what I will say..

    OFFICE: .. Will determine the winner of the elections”

    SHE: but.. And the vote?

    OFFICE: we skip the vote! Enough with elections. It is a waste of time and money. You must tell us who will win. In any case the polls will give us the same answer.

    SHE: and if I tell you something nonsense?

    OFFICE: [irritated] dear mrs norm, we don’t care how you get to your decision. You could even toss a coin for it. In that case we will hypothesize that the majority of people will have made a decision by tossing a coin as well. Do as you please, but give us an answer.

    SHE: can you trust me to give you any name?

    OFFICE: there is no reason to worry about it. Also when you answer by chance you are infallible!

    SHE: infallible?

    OFFICE: very infallible. We selected you amongst thousands of subjects!we took years, but now we are sure that you can’t go wrong: you are our PLC and your opinions are definitely the ones of the majority of americans, for example, last year you wanted ot go on holiday in florida right?

    SHE: exactly..

    OFFICE:.. And, if you recall, the majority of americans wanted to do the same.

    SHE: this is easy.

    OFFICE: you wanted to buy spic’n shine, and inevitably 75% of americans want to wash their dishes with the same product.

    SHE: of course, who doesn’t want to wash with spic’n shine?

    OFFICE: you see? You work like a charm.

    SHE: wow, still how can you be so sure?

    OFFICE: we know how to do our job, what the hell! We are scientific surveyors at the white house.

    SHE: [] but I don’t want my opinions to be like the majority’s. I want to be original!

    OFFICE: wait I’ll verify.. Like I thought! This is what the majority of citizens want!

    From the book “mental traps” by matteo motterini, rizzoli

    1 Comment »

    3 ottobre 2009

    I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe…

     A little bit of Blade Runner never hurts…