Thanks to his curiosity, fascination and his love for experiments photographer Stefano Buldrini recreated a David Hockney classic with the Diana Mini, his puzzle-portraits.
The majority of the portraits are of people that inspired Stefano Buldrini — artists and many are of musicians from an orchestra. We asked @budrock more about his series. Here's our interview.
How long have you been taking photos for and how did you start?
I got into photography about ten years ago, with the intent of stimulating my creativity off stage. After spending some time learning about it with a digital reflex camera, I became completely captivated by film thanks to a photograph shot at the seafront of Palermo, in Sicily, with a Lubitel 166. It was a black cat walking towards the camera, with a look so intense it could burn the paper. It was 2009 and that photo had such a great impact on my curiosity, that from that moment on, I decided to use film as the only method of self-expression. And this was all despite my dislike for cats…
- What made you purchase a Diana Mini? What do you like about this camera?
I started working with a Diana Mini years later and with great pleasure. I loved it from the start, mainly because of its simplicity and its easy-to-use characteristic. Thanks to this camera I don’t need to spend much time worrying about the technical aspects (which I often detest) of a project and I can fully focus on what I want to create.
- The shots are a series of collages, can you tell us more about the series? What is it for?
These compositions came to life one muggy afternoon of August, almost by chance and driven by the desire of finishing a roll film (haven’t we all been there?). It was those last 8 shots that I took of my wife that ratified the beginning of a new language.
I then decided (just a few years ago) to develop this technique with the most charismatic characters with whom I had the pleasure of working in the orchestra. They are renowned conductors and international soloists who have lent themselves with extreme kindness.
The result impressed me, mainly because of the feeling of confusion that was created within the final images: in fact I never used any kind of tripod and I did handheld shooting with the intent to bring out any imperfections. These "flaws" then became the strength of these collages, such as the disproportion of the subject in the puzzle of Francesco Maria Colombo or the blur in Kolja Blacker.
In Puzzleportrait each pose has its own individuality, where the details stand out almost to an excessive extent. Furthermore, thanks to the on-camera flash and the typical vignetting of Diana, at the time of reassembling the poses (the funniest moment) you perceive a sort of photographic cubism.
Wow, what interesting subjects to take snaps of! If you mind, where do you get your inspiration from?
There are many artists who stimulate my imagination, particularly David Hockney: I find his photographic period amazing and I admire his expressive multiplicity, from the paintings of the dazzling Californian light, where I would dive into those warm pools, the photographic collages, and to the drawings on iPads.
As for photographers, I can think of Bill Brandt's sculptural nudes, the sense of heartbreaking angst in Arthur Tress, the grain in the landscapes of Sebastião Salgado and the streets of Henri Cartier-Bresson. I also find the mosaics of Maurizio Galimberti and his Readymade production quite brilliant.
When I have some free time, I love to lock myself up in the Pinacoteca di Brera here in Milan, and lose myself inside till I'm in tears.
What are the prospects for Stefano Buldrini?
I’m applying this technique to a project regarding the architecture of the suburbs of Milan and soon I’ll be working on a puzzleportrait with more subjects — it’s s group of great musicians that I can’t wait to start shooting.