Saturday, 21 August 2010

Faking it

Giovanni Bortolani had been working in world of advertising for a while, a world where every picture must be processed in order to erase any little imperfection, where everything is glossy and unreal.  This concentration has given him the ability to focus on the human obsession with always appearing perfect, remaining forever young, the desire to construct a body with almost no flesh on it.  The subject of his work is the body, the frailty of appearance and the scars life generates.  Contradicting the myth of eternal beauty that survives the fight against time, the photographs for the FAKE TOO FAKE project debunk such conception and unveil the human fear behind the race.  

In discussing the aesthetic research behind his work he refers to the phrase "so beautiful it looks real" as a method of indicating a perfect artifact while manipulating the tiniest detail, and refuses to admire beauty for the sake of it.  His collaboration with hair and make-up artist Marcorea Malia  has transformed the appearance of the sitters into a cruel reality as evidence of this aesthetic concern.  As Malia works on the body, shapes the hair and paints the skin, suddenly a fig becomes an open wound on the chest, and boiled shrimps looks like entrails coming out of the body.  Later Bortolani manipulates the image so that the arm of one becomes someone else and infected scars look like a doodle.  Bortolani expresses this collaboration as catching ideas floating in the air to make them 'visible'.   To him, aesthetic is content.


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