by Sandro Pintus

"Secret Love"
The exhibition of Bruce Weber at the Biennial of Florence

As it was only to be expected, the Biennial of Florence has been such a success that it has been extended until January 16th. In fact in less than two months over 72.000 people have bought tickets to visit it, far exceeding all expectations. The exhibition of the work of American photographer Bruce Weber is also part of this Biennial.

His career as a photographer started in an unusual way. In 1969 his parents refused to allow him to go to the pop festival at Woodstock. When the TV showed the performances of the young singers present at the huge gathering composed of at least 300.000 people, they asked him: "...aren't you glad we didn't let you go along with all those people?". Young Bruce went and shut himself up in his bedroom and this was when he made up his mind to become a photographer.

Bruce Weber - Jason Shaw, Argentina 1995 (Courtesy of Bruce Weber)

The "Secret Love" exhibition is held in the frescoed rooms of the Salvatore Ferragamo Museum in Palazzo Spini Ferroni and displays almost 200 photos, most of them in black and white. Defined as the "photographer who photographs fashion and makes fashion through photography", Weber's work not only expresses the customary phenomena that also make fashion but also, and above all, various provocations that sometimes make us wonder, sometimes irritate us and sometimes amuse us and make us smile.

The photographer displays his work in first of the three rooms of the exhibition with a selection of photos of the male body, that are taken in complete lack of restraint and also amusing. The second room contains the theme of Boy Scouts, a view of American society where we can see youngsters in the moment of change from boyhood to adolescence. The forty photos that compose this section show us a typical example of life in the United States and are intended as a homage to the Boy Scouts of America.

Bruce Weber - Duchess of Devonshire Feeding Her Chickens,
England 1996 (Courtesy of Bruce Weber)

The third room contains is dedicated to portraiture and here the photographer is able to show his skill in capturing people just the right moment. Only the essence of each personality is portrayed here. Robert Mitchum looks at the objective with a calm questioning air, while Aretha Franklin is shown while she is singing and, like a real queeen, wearing a long dark dress and a crown. Even the Duchess of Devonshire, shown here while feeding her chickens, has an ironical expression on her face, while the portraits of Gerard Depardieu and a "regal looking" Nelson Mandela, the first black President of multiracial South Africa, are extremely expressive.

Vedi anche:

1st Biennial of Firenze, a success with the public

New Persona/New Universe, the transformation of the human body and the identity of the part it plays


FAN-Florence ART News
Silvia Messeri & Sandro Pintus


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