Thursday, March 11, 2010

Gabriele Basilico redux


I'm glad that there have been a few posts in the photo-blogoshpere in the last week or so about Italian photographer Gabrielle Basilico. It's also a reminder of how parochial the North American photo-scene can be. I'm frequently surprised at the number of important photographers whose work is often not at all well known across here because they aren't based in N. America

As far as I'm concerned Basilico is one of the more important photographers of the last 25+ years, especially in the whole area of city and urban photography. Not only does he make great photographs, he also brings to his work an extremely sophisticated understanding of, and vision of, "the city". He is acutely aware of the changes that have taken place in what a city is - especially over the last 50 or so years - and of what the city now means. Changes in the centre, the edge, the suburbs, the terrain vague - the space that holds it all together.

Gabriele Basilico, Milano 03, 1995

While much of his work can stand strongly on its own as single images it is his ordering of images - often in dense sequence - that can often be most effective. Still one of the best examples of this is his book Interrupted City; Italy - Cross-Sections of a Country. Through his work Basilico has been an important influence on many of the current crop of cityscape/urbanscape photographers as well as architects, planners and urban theorist.

Gabriele Basilico, Valencia 04, 1998

(Other books by Basilico which I particularly like are Cityscapes and Beirut (both the original and the "revisited"). The Phaidon 55 book is also fairly good. My two favourites though are L'esperienza dei luoghi and Porti di Mare.)

If you want a bit more info about Basilico, I've written about him several times before - here are a few posts, which include plenty of other links:

Gabriele Basilico

Gabriele Basilico - Workbook 1969-2006

Gabriele Basilico - Silicone Valley - 07

From the recent postings this last week, I was pleased to finally find a link to some of his more recent colour work - which is quite stunning (for the longest time - with the possible exception of the Beirut work - he was very much a master of black and white pictures. He is now showing the same with colour).

(All photographs - Gabrielle Basilico)


Kristine Guzman said...

these are beautiful!

Fabio Severo said...

Interesting to see Basilico's work around blogs from the US. We are so accostumed to his work here in Italy that sometimes he can even be perceived as a burden that younger generations need to get free from, like a milestone that can weigh too much on the shoulders of fresh and new eyes. But still his work is a precious resource to admire and study.