On these occasions my need has always been to make portraits, telling about the people, what they did and why.
This time I wanted to deepen the symbolic figure of this time of the year: Santa Claus! We see many around us and that’s always the character, forgetting that behind that mask there there is always a person.
So here is what I tried to tell: the person behind the character!
I shot the charachter in colour and perfectly integrated in his natural environment, while I photographed the person on a white background, in black and white, differentiating the two worlds: fantasy and reality (and whoch one is which?!?)
It is always very beautiful to do portraits: you listen to the lives, you fall into another’s experience, you gain insight into the intimate personal dramas.. To all these people that have wanted to spend a morning with me in piazza del duomo in Milan. Thank you!
Here is the page on today’s corriere:
These are the original photographs with my little interview to each one of them:
Marco Formenti: 29 years old, from Lissone. Born as a magician, but during Christmas he dresses up to take part in shows where he joins magic to the atmosphere of Christmas. He finds modern children ultra demanding, so he tries to improve more and more his disguises and adapts to many situations: he has more than 13 different Santa Claus outfits!
Emilio Peverelli: 46 years old, from Seveso. He is a cook by trade, but with his wife (Trombetta the clown) they pair up to do children shows, all year around. They say that “in front of a child you are not yourself anymore but the character that you interpret, therefore you have to forget who you are”
Mauro Stringo: 26 years old, from Milano. He is an IT technician but he tries to make ends meet by being Santa Claus. His highlight is to participate as the official Santa Claus at the Ferrari party. He finds modern children too savvy.
Alessandro Botta Monga: 40 years old, he is an environmental geologist but he is without a job since two years. He tried to overcome the economic crisis doing thousands of things, favouring creativity. After three years of theatre school he started interpreting Santa Claus. He also believes that modern children are too savvy: once an eight year old boy, seeing that he was wearing glasses under his white beard, he asked him if he was myopic or astigmatic.
Leonardo Faliero: 38 years old, from Palagenello in the Taranto province but he lives in Limbiate. He is a metalworker in a factory, everyday busy with the blast furnace. To make ends meet but also to have fun he has been a Santa Claus for 5 years.
Francesco Scarteddu: 31 years old, from Carbonia in the Cagliari province but lives in Origgio. He is a metalworker in a factory. Lives with Francesca, a sardinian like him but that he met here in Milan. It’s his first year as a Santa Claus pushed by curiosity and his friend and colleague Leonardo.
Ilaria Suffia, Cristiana Passarelli, Elena Carbonara, Giulia Anzani, Caroline Bernava, Barbara Belardo: they are all students around 21 years old, all dressed up (for the first time in their lives!) as Santa Claus for advertising.
And here are three images backstage, made by Francesco Scontrini:
PS: Santa Claus exists!