Gian Paolo Barbieri: the search of the perfection


“EVA” by Beatrice Brandini

Schermata 2013-11-05 alle 23.10.17

Banner of the exhibition                          

I went to see a beautiful exhibition of Gian Paolo Barbieri to FO.FU, Fucecchio Photo Festival, it’ll be open until November 17. Interesting photographic association (Photo Club Fucecchio) that every year organizes exhibitions dedicated to great photographers. This year, Gian Paolo Barbieri and Letizia Battaglia (a completely different genre to this artist, photojournalist, documenting the torment of the Mafia in Sicily, a harsh reality and unfortunately real).

3Parco Corsini    3 bisCarmassi

Parco Corsini – Sculpture by Arturo Carmassi

The exhibition takes place in Palazzo Corsini, an enchanting place that lies between towers crumbling, green gardens, various testimonies of past ages, where there is space an imposing sculpture of Carmassi.

4Simonetta Gianfelice Vogue Italia 1983    5Lilly Bistrattin Pomellato 1971

                  Simonetta Gianfelice Vogue Italy 1983                                      Lilly Bistrattin,  Pomellato 1971

Anyone who has studied fashion in the 80s and 90s knows exactly what weight had Barbieri in the consecration of the Made in Italy. A photographer, or perhaps I should call it an artist, internationally known who has signed prestigious advertising campaigns (Armani, Versace, Leonard, Ferrè, Saint Laurent), as well as hundreds Vogue’s pages (Italian and international edition), for many years.

6Eva Malmstom Vogue 1979    7Apollonia Vogue Italia 1980

Eva Malmstrom Vogue Italy,  1979                           Apollonia Vogue Italy, 1980

The exhibition pays homage to BEAUTY, that celebrated through the glossy pages of fashion, that of the human body, and the exoticism of nature.

8Vogue Italia 1968    9Isa Stoppi Vogue

                    Vogue Italy, 1968                                                   Isa Stoppi, Vogue Italy

10Vogue Italia 1969

                               Vogue Italy, 1969

Armani, with whom he worked in the early days, called Barbieri “the Fellini of photography”, visionary, perfectionist, theatrical. Researcher of the perfect beauty, almost rarefied, which continues to make us dream .

11Monica Bellucci Calendario GQ 2000    12Vogue Italia anni 80

Monica Bellucci GQ Calendar, 2000                              Vogue Italy, 80s-90s

His models are not “perfect” beautiful women, undoubtedly fascinating, but mostly with a strong personality, charm and elegance, and his photos a set of class, style and distinction.

13Audrey Hepburn Vogue 1969

Audrey Hepburn, Vogue Italy 1969

I think Barbieri has racked up countless memories, the result of wonderful encounters (photographed Nureyev, Sophia Loren, Claudia Cardinale, Veruschka, Capucine, etc.)., Of all I want to mention one thing that I read some time ago and I was very impressed. Barbieri photographed Audrey Hepburn in the late 70s. Well this wonderful creature, already an international star,  cames to the study of Barbieri with slippers for not littering the white background that would have been used for the shoot. That education and class! Many “stars” of today should reflect.

14Exotic Nudes 2    15Exotic Nudes

Exotic Nudes

As often happens in the lives of the greatest artists, the beginnings are not always easy. Young Barbieri fell in love with acting, through the theater and then cinema. To pursue this passion he moved to Rome (he was born in Milan) where to keep taking photos to aspiring actors and actresses of Cinecittà. He returned to Milan, where he went to Paris for a few months becomes the assistant to Tom Kublin, photographer at Harper’s Bazaar. This brief meeting will be critical to understand all the secrets of fashion photography, and especially to understand that what will be the work of his life.

16Dark Memories    17Dark Memories 2

Dark Memories 

Barbieri has never followed the “mode”, but while I understand the evolution of aesthetics, which in the fashion world travels in a track faster, has always managed to keep his style, giving the photograph an aesthetic UNMISTAKABLE. His photos are the result of preparation and culture that combines knowledge theater, film, art, dream-like atmosphere that transport us to distant worlds and each time different.

18 Groupage finale

Groupage…. Loren, Vivienne Westwood, Apollonia… for Vogue Italia

He stated: “the essential is the emotion”, and is a little what tries to do every artist, or excite the viewer. Whether it’s a song, a film, a painting, or a photo, what matters is to leave a trace, something that strikes you,  that impressions.  It is not always easy, indeed, but Gian Paolo Barbieri certainly managed to win this challenge.


Tuscan sunset 

And as in a painting by Monet, the evening ends with a natural beautiful, the sky. 

Good life to all!







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