Mario Giacomelli, a self-taught photographer began photographing after World War II. His style, characterized by bold contrasts, was inspired by Neo-Realist movies such as those by De Sica and Rossellini. He was interested in capturing scenes of everyday life (People, Little Priests), as well as landscape photography. The photographer used to ask the farmers, paying them, to create with their tractors precise marks on the ground, acting directly on the landscape to photograph and then accentuate such signs in the press. In this way he may be considered a precursor of later Land Art practices of 1960’s and 70’s.
The abstraction present in the Landscape series brought him near to actors of the Informal Italian movement such as artist Alberto Burri.
According to Katiuscia Biondi, granddaughter of the artist, the entire work of Giacomelli:
“was born and developed in accordance with the conceptual and methodological directives of the Informal Art, first of all because it considered the individual element, every photograph, not as a finished product, a closed object in itself according to criteria of formal perfection, but as a part of a whole (the entire photographic corpus), a becoming whole that takes its meaning, form, and its vitality from the interrelationships of the individual elements that compose it: Giacomelli’s work is a complex system, an organism that feeds on its own motion, and Giacomelli continually revises the series of photographs by putting them in communication one with each other, both iconographically (through symbolic references that are repeated over the decades), and by intervening on them enough to melt photographs of an old series (through the overlay) with shots for a new one, or even feeding over the years an old series with the addition of new photographs taken by a sort of tank, “Poesie in cerca di autore” (Poems in search of an Author) (1970’s/2000’s), a bunch of shots stored just for this purpose”.
(Excerpt from the Wikipedia page, in Italian)
Mario Giacomelli (from Diplome 2015 Ester Szac)