LomoAmigo:Timeless Instants by Maurizio Galimberti

Lomography Italy had the honor and the pleasure of interviewing photographer and instant film artist Maurizio Galimberti. Apart from creating one of his stunning and famous mosaics just for us, and answered a few questions for this interview. Read more after the jump.

A surveyor who then turned to photography. How did this change happen?

Initially, photography was just a hobby for me. I used to shoot in black and white film (from 1974 to 1982) develop and print my own pictures, but I didn’t really enjoy working in the darkroom. That is why I got closer to instant photography and, at the same time, I started studying art history, to add a new dimension to my work.

You know, everyone can create images, but, as Italo Calvino said, “Creativity is like jam, it needs to be spread on a robust bread slice”;if you don’t have a background, a heritage to confront your work and your vision with, you don’t get anywhere!

I started from Impressonists and with manipulated instant photographs, then I approached the Avant-garde from the 900s, that’s where my work was born.

In 1988, I met Achille Abramo Saporiti, Polaroid’s communication manager, and Nino Migliori, famous photographer, during one of my exhibitions in Vicenza.

That’s how I got close to the world of Polaroid Italia and started making research for Saporiti. Finally, in 1992, I said goodbye to my life as a surveyor… “Goodbye everyone, I’m going to shoot pictures with Polaroids!” I can now say I won that bet!

What is about analogue photography that fascinates you and, in particular, about instant photography?

I like analogue photography, but instant photography is just above everything else: when you shoot a picture, you get an emotion right away! Colors are magic…it’s real love!

If you learn how to shoot instant pictures, you learn how to be direct: the picture becomes the extension of your eye.

Your Instant mosaics are legendary. How were they born?

My work on mosaic art is from the end of the ‘80s, when I started researching on Avant Garde, Bauhaus, Danel Spoerri’s black and white mosaic on which he would use paint, Hockney and Lucas Samaras’ mosaic. I was also fascinated by a famous Talking Heads cover
Apart from this, I was also influenced by Braque and Picasso’s Cubism, so I started experimenting on their technique, but I wasn’t convinced.

From 1985 to 1986 I decided to work mostly on mosaics, making them in various sizes…when Alan Fidler, Polaroid’s engineer in Boston, showed me The Collector, the box/camera I now use for my portraits.

We worked on colors and started experimenting on portraits with The Collector. I was the first one to use it in that way.

My projects are also inspired by Boccioni’s Futurism, with its dynamic lines that go up and down, as in my portraits.

Portraits or architectures: which one do you prefer?

Portraits are fascinating because you are really in touch with a human being, while architecture shots are interesting because you can make something new out of an already existing object.
I love both of them, but if I had to choose, I would go for the portrait.

Which one of your works satisfied you the most?

I would definitely say “la Vucciria di Palermo”, from 1992: it has incredible colors!

We know you took pictures of really famous people, Johnny Depp, Robert De Niro, Lady Gaga…Do you have some funny memory to share with us?

Well, Lady Gaga kept on telling me “Call me Caca” and I told her “look, in Italian that’s not a good thing at all!” (caca=poo)…and then, when we finished shooting, she passionately kissed me! I wasn’t really happy, she’s definitely not my type!

Johnny Depp…well, he was so happy about his portrait, he went running to Des Bains in the Excelsior (Venice).
Then, something really nice happened with Rober de Niro: at the beginning he wasn’t so keen on having his portrait. I had to do it for Polaroid, which was the sponsor of the TriBeCa festival, which was founded by De Niro himself, among others. He thought the portrait would be ridiculous with that “plastic thing” (The Collector camera), but he posed in the end.

After we finished, he apologized and started crying, because in that portrait he saw his own fears and his resemblance with his mother and father. Two days later, he commissioned portraits for his entire family.
This is what portraits are about: you borrow someone’s soul for two minutes and then you give it back for eternity through a picture.

For Lomography Italy, you tried a Diana F+ with its Instant Back. Was it your first time with this camera? How was it?

Yes, it was the first time and I loved it! At the beginning, I had to get used to idea of “shooting and then pressing the eject button” and I had to throw away a few shots. Once I got used to it, it was very easy and entertaining! I liked the lens, really…although it’s a plastic lens, it’s amazing! The fact that you can adapt the aperture was really useful, especially in Puglia, where we had a lot of sun. The result is an amazing color! I will surely use it again!

What kind of project did you work on for Lomography?

At the moment, I’m working with Arianna Grimoldi, a famous model. I was in Puglia and I had this weird camera with me to test…so I decided to use it. It took me about an hour to work it out, but then I started shooting. The result is a “summer shot” of a woman with a mask, with no identity, almost animal-like…some sort of Paolina Bonaparte of nowadays. An image for summer covers.

Exclusive for Lomography Italy.

Any upcoming projects, exhibitions, workshops?

Apart from my work with Arianna Grimoldi, I’ve got a perfomance scheduled at Columbus University in New York on June 14th, an exhibition from July 18th at the Dillon Gallery, in NYC, and an “instant project” in Paris.
Obviously, there are often commissioned portraits.

What advice would you give to our instant-lover community?

Always try and find meaning in your shots: shallow pictures don’t bring you anywhere. Again as Calvino said about “the robust bread slice” In this case, the bread slice is the study, the understanding of artists and culture of the past and the present in order to create your own and personal interpretation. I think that sometimes, those who have Lomo cameras can be a bit superficial with their cameras.

At a time when it’s so easy and common to take pictures at everything, I think those “poor” but fascinating objects, such as Lomography or Polaroid cameras, are so much better than digital cameras. I bet no one would be able, with a digital camera, to take a picture like the one I made for you with the Diana F+.

I’m convinced that your community members want to experiment and work on a personal research: that is, I think, the best way to find their own path.

Follow Maurizio Galimberti on his website and his Facebook page.

written by stea on 2014-03-14 in #people #lomoamigos #diana #maurizio-galimberti #instant #polaroid #instax-mini

More Interesting Articles

  • A Chat with the Founder of STENOFLEX, Eric Marais

    written by jacobs on 2015-03-04 in #people #lifestyle
    A Chat with the Founder of STENOFLEX, Eric Marais

    Eric Marais is the founder of the portable dark-room experience, STENOFLEX. We recently had the chance to ask him some questions and he was kind enough to answer us! Read on to find out more about his company, his interest in photography and what's next for STENOFLEX!

    1
  • Lomo'Instant LomoAmigo: Fivi Lai

    written by sanamiii on 2014-11-18 in #people #lomoamigos
    Lomo'Instant LomoAmigo: Fivi Lai

    The world's most creative instant camera – the Lomo'Instant — is now available at both Lomography Online stores & Gallery Stores worldwide! Lomography Hong Kong has invited a few popular locals to try this instant camera, and one of them is fashion and graphic designer Fivi Lai. Fivi answers a few questions in this exclusive interview, and shares quite a few of her creative instant snaps taken with the Lomo’Instant.

  • A Conversation with the CEO of Ondu Pinhole Cameras, Elvis Halilović

    written by jacobs on 2015-01-19 in #lifestyle
    A Conversation with the CEO of Ondu Pinhole Cameras, Elvis Halilović

    It was our great pleasure to chat with the CEO of Ondu Pinhole Cameras, Elvis Halilović, about his interest in pinhole photography as well as the formation of his company that produces handcrafted pinhole cameras. We found his answers fascinating and we think you will too. Thanks Elvis for being so generous in sharing your story and cameras with us!

    4
  • Shop News

    Uncrate Long Lost Lomography Treasures - 30% Off in our Discount Section

    Uncrate Long Lost Lomography Treasures - 30% Off in our Discount Section

    Fly over to our 30% Discount Section to discover previously unavailable Editions & Clones! Be quick and make one yours before they are all gone again!

  • Dreamy Petzval Fashion Portraits by LomoAmigo Svenja Pitz

    written by zonderbar on 2014-09-10 in #people #lomoamigos
    Dreamy Petzval Fashion Portraits by LomoAmigo Svenja Pitz

    We already had the honor of introducing Svenja as part of our 5 Questions Series. Her analogue fashion portraits intrigued us so much that we begged the Hamburg-based photographer to test the Petzval lens for us. In this article, you’ll learn why she’s so into the Petzval lens and find enchantment in her dreamy double exposures!

  • Petzval LomoAmigo: Music Photographer Tom Sheehan

    written by hannah_brown on 2014-10-10 in #people #lomoamigos
    Petzval LomoAmigo: Music Photographer Tom Sheehan

    Last year, Lomography UK had the honor of hosting an exhibition by music photographer Tom Sheehan. Tom has photographed everyone from Mick Jagger, The Smiths, The Charlatans, Tom Waits, David Byrne to name just a few! We lent him a Petzval lens and asked him to test it on a shoot, and he granted us an exclusive interview.

    1
  • A Salute to the Masters: The Sirius Space Mission to the Third Planet (A Tribute to Peter Mitchell)

    written by sirio174 on 2014-05-06 in #lifestyle
    A Salute to the Masters: The Sirius Space Mission to the Third Planet (A Tribute to Peter Mitchell)

    Imagine an alien space mission from a planet of the Sirius Star System to an abandoned industrial zone of Como, a city situated in the North of Italy. The alien photographer named sirio174, used a powerful futuristic camera, called Lomo Lubitel 166U loaded with a Kodak Portra film roll. Yes, no digital, because the future is...analogue! During his journey, he learned the most common language of our planet -- English -- and he wrote this article for us. Read more after the jump!

  • Shop News

    Lomo Instant Boston

    Lomo Instant Boston

    Here is another way to enjoy analogue experience and capture great memories in an instant! This package includes the best creative lenses for your LomoInstant camera!

  • Petzval LomoAmigo Chris Pollard

    written by hannah_brown on 2014-12-08 in #people #lomoamigos
    Petzval LomoAmigo Chris Pollard

    Chris Pollard is a fashion photographer who, despite his exposure to the fast-paced world of runways and fashion, still has a passion for film photography. He expressed a keen interest in testing the New Petzval Lens, and we were more than glad to let him try it for himself. He shares photos ad answers a few questions in this exclusive feature.

  • Pieces of Berlin Make Their Way to NYC

    written by efrost on 2014-09-29 in #people #events
    Pieces of Berlin Make Their Way to NYC

    Photographer Florian Reischauer is no stranger to the Lomography community. In 2013, our LomoAmigo took a Lubitel 166+ out for a spin and told us about his famous blog, "Pieces of Berlin". A few years earlier, he took time to take part in the 5 Questions on Analogue Photographyseries. Now, we’re here to give you the latest scoop on Florian Reischauer and his next appearance in NYC to present his new book which was based off of his blog, "Pieces of Berlin 2009-2013".

  • Snippets and Vignettes: Edward Hopper Paintings Under a Surreal GIF Light

    written by cheeo on 2014-06-03 in #lifestyle
    Snippets and Vignettes: Edward Hopper Paintings Under a Surreal GIF Light

    Painter Edward Hopper would have chuckled in delight had he seen these GIFs of his famous paintings. See how the artist’s paintings are given the GIF treatment by Ibon Mainar after the jump.

  • Shop News

    Show Off your Pics with Style!

    Show Off your Pics with Style!

    Build vivid hanging LomoCurtains, robust free-standing LomoCastles, and dazzling mounted LomoMosaics! Just click them together with the Lomography Photoclips!

  • Nighttime Petzval Shots by Juno Chen

    written by sanamiii on 2014-12-09 in #world #locations
    Nighttime Petzval Shots by Juno Chen

    Juno Chen is a student and photography enthusiast from California who captured stunning views of HongKong recently. Check out our interview with Juno and his amazing Petzval night shots after the jump.

  • Digital art by Andy Warhol from the '80s found on diskettes

    written by chooolss on 2014-04-27 in #lifestyle
    Digital art by Andy Warhol from the '80s found on diskettes

    Iconic pop artist Andy Warhol might be famous for his prints and paintings, but did you know that he, too, once dabbled in making digital art? Learn more about his lesser known works after the jump!

  • The Photography of Picasso on Exhibit in NYC

    written by chooolss on 2014-11-10 in #news
    The Photography of Picasso on Exhibit in NYC

    Celebrated artist Pablo Picasso had his brush with photography when he was still alive, both in front of the camera and behind it. Find out the details of an ongoing exhibit featuring his photographic work after the jump.