MAURIZIO DI IORIO
“I'm an Egglestonian by culture, and I don't like any photography that wants to send a message. What could the image of a giant toothbrush mean? It's simply an objective photograph, devoid of existential anguish. It's one of the images of mass culture. When I shot it, I thought: "Who could like the picture of a simple toothbrush?" and instead it actually got a nice feedback. This is because people identify with the objects that surround their lives. And the photograph becomes pleasant only for its aesthetic expressivity. I don't want to tell a tale, to send a message, but let it be clear, there's nothing superficial about this.”
Photographer and artist, Maurizio Di Iorio doesn’t hold back when it comes to his work. The content which may include small scale detail images, or images of inanimate objects and food, but they speak volumes about the direction and purpose he aspires his images to assume. The opening line on his website sums it up pretty bluntly; "I have never been attracted to photography that seizes the moment. It's the second look that reveals the unveiling detail. Never the first". Thus his works are thought through and precise to the creative whim of Di Iorio.
“I've written this sentence on my website's homepage because I like to describe in a sharp, and sincere, way what my work is focused on, at least my current work. Of course, this doesn't mean that I don't appreciate the output of photographers that go around with the cameras to capture moments of daily life. Personally, however, I prefer meditation and control over the image, and the result must be based on my aesthetic tastes, composition principles and use of colour. The images that grab my attention contain some sort of little anomaly, a "capriccio", possibly hermetic,” he explains.
Similarly a text post on his blog states, "I hate landscapes", reiterating Di Iorio knows in absolution what kind of work he wants to produce. “It's a strong sentence, I know, because it generalises the issue as well. I want to specify that I was referring mostly to photographs of natural landscapes. It's a genre that tends to idealise, to make the subject more lyrical by describing the way things were before. I'm more attracted by what is contemporary, what influences our lives, starting with the endless consuming of products. I don't want to run from this reality and so I narrow my focus,” he says.
And because his photographs are mostly connected to the theme of consumer society, food features heavily through-out his ‘objects and human beings’ works. “I often include products whose label is visible because of this theme. Food is a pop phenomenon, one of the most important in the latest decades.”
This narrow focus is also why Di Lorio’s images are often quite minimal; the focus of the image is always brought in to smaller details, or includes only few objects. “My photographs are tales in a small scale and often focus on the relation between objects and human beings. I don't extrapolate my subjects from their daily context because I prefer an aesthetic truth and I reject any form of idealisation. This approach leads me to focus on details, especially of common objects capable of expressing and narrating our time.”
This aesthetic is firmly engrained in his works – it’s evident upon looking at Di Iorio’s images that they hold his artistic signature. Again this certainty is rooted in his ability to explain, undertake and standby, without hesitation, the kind of works he wishes to create.
“Somebody has called it "dark pop", and it's a definition I don't mind at all. It's a style that deals with the themes I tackle. For me, where the shot is set is not important. I don't look for the armchair matching the dress or pattern construction. I'm interested in isolating and exalting the subjects, and the background must be neutral. Then I also try to include an element of shabbiness in response to this sidereal elegance that I find in so much photography, especially fashion photography. Starting from the use of colours, which are deliberately violent because they express the disorder of real life. They're the saturated colours of consumer society to which we're all condemned.
Colour therefore plays a large role in Di Iorio’s images, his works often featuring backgrounds of bold colour. “I viscerally love colour and my aesthetic references are partly pop. Colours are fun and offer many more expressive possibilities. In the latest months, my use of colours and their saturation have become more extreme, and a lot depends on - as I've said - the themes I'm tackling. But also on the fact that, after having seen all these algid and formally sober photographs that are making the rounds Iately, I've been wanting to do the exact opposite.”
Indeed with images of fruit, sliced and diced, tangled hands and body form details, and vibrant and aggressive colours, Di Iorio places his work in a league of his own. And with the passion he has for it, it’s undeniable no matter what he attempts it will appear as he wishes. And it's guaranteed his works will always met his expectations, regardless of others.
And with such a firm creative aesthetic, moreover one that is so appealing, who can complain.
Words / Jamie-Maree Shipton