Giacomo Por photographer

Talking about with Guinevere Joy

Below is a full version of the interview given to the kind Guinevere Joy, published on Inspades Magazine.


You seem to fulfill the essence of your country, Italy in these images. Who are these faces, these people that are so present in your images? How do you find them? Are they known previous to shooting?

Looks like you're referring to one of my work in recent years, Faces of Undefined. And according the title of this work, really it doesn’t matter to me who was the people I have portrayed. My purpose has never been to represent anyone. My portrait idea is far from the narrative needs. Contemporary drowns in the delirium of representation, and I have always kept it far away. I have never known the people I photographed before, so I always find people finding myself in each of them. And i find them in every part of the world, Italy or other places it is the same for me.

To me, there seems to be a story behind every single image. The models have a real presence. Would you care to share some of the stories that go with the images (please do refer to which images, so that I can share in the article.) You can attach the images that you have stories for. 

As stated above, there’s no stories behind but concepts, intuitions. All my work goes to the abstraction, despite the figurative. But the figurative is nothing more then a primitive form of abstraction. I have always thought of how excessive the narrative was in the way of viewing photography. Actually you can see all around the world a lot of storytellers lost in their storytelling, but so few photographers. I think there is a fundamental misunderstanding: photography should not serve to tell anything, photography must strive for the most difficult mystery linked to expression.

While you have the white and dark bodies of work, the content in each body of work is fairly similar. Do you shoot the white and dark portraits for stylistic purposes? (for example, high key and low key lighting) Or is there a specific meaning and intention for shooting certain portraits in high key or low key lighting? 

Each part of my work has a different meaning, coming from my general view. The stylistic issues have never affected me. White and Black, to me, are two different doors that lead me to always different revelations. White and Black are not a visual concerne, are not a simple question about a foreground or background. Instead they are paths to rarefaction of senses in which my inspiration lives.

What is the inspiration for your two bodies of work? Although this article will focus on the Black series, I'm interested in getting to know you as an artist and understanding your inspiration for creating.

A bit complicate to answer shortly. My bodies of work are a kind of double sky that whenever invert themselves, forming cuts between perceptions and intuitions. Moreover, there is something beyond that. The impossibility to stay in the same perceptive focus, I always needed it to move myself towards new unveilings. Like my ultimate work, where I have experimented about colors in a way, possibly, even more extreme. A little stone, an abandoned wear, a smile into the night, the night and its silent majesty, the infinite silence are often conspirators of my inspiration.

What is it that keeps you going, continues to motivate you, day in day out to create? 

Roland Barthes said that self-portrait is the structural anticipation of our own death. My visions, my revelations are only a continue chessboard between me and the life beyond me. My portraiture, my work is always an unveiling of myself inside the other life, inside the others, of the other. A way to see elsewhere using a single mirror. This leads me more often day in day out. Without a calendar.

What is your favourite image(s) in your Black series?

I can’t able to show my favorite work. All my photographs reveal fragments of my existence. In that sense, I might say now about The Invisible Hours or Kinjiki, while tomorrow I could tell you another one. More then the best picture, every day I hope to have my best dream.

What do you consider your favourite memory while shooting or creating images?


Where do you go to shoot your on-location portraits, such as the man walking in the country? Do you have a studio?

Yes, I have a studio even if it isn’t a reference. For me there is no difference between studio or other site. Places are only a pretext, a misunderstanding. I happened to use a window as a studio, and a studio as a road. The meaning makes the real difference. 

Throughout your career, what have been some of your greatest achievements?

Well, I certainly thank all those, critics and collectors, who over the years have recognized something in me. But I keep thinking that it is much more important what you do every day, and tomorrow even more. For this reason, it is much more important for me to note every time the astonishment of those who do not recognize their faces portrayed. One step ahead of perception, that's the only achievement what I care about. 

Are there specific inspirational sources for your creativity, such as other photographers, films, music, paintings, places, or people who have had an important place in your life?

The artistic avant-garde of the twentieth century was the sea I learned to swim, as well as the antiquity. There would be a lot to evoke: photographers, painters, sculptors, musicians, writers, thinkers, and all those people - presences, as I call them - where I've always seen a piece of me. But let me remember specifically three names such as Man Ray, Aaron Siskind and Mario Giacomelli.

I'm also really interested in your photographic process from start to finish. Could you please speak about what kind of preparations you make to shoot, as well as what you specifically put attention to in post-production?

It depends on the kind of work I have in mind for a specific project. I usually spend a lot of time preparing lights to evoke the shadows I'm looking for. Sometimes it happens that the shadows are manifested in a will that goes beyond mine. It's like throwing yourself thinking of getting to the distance you've imagined. Often it happened to spend one day thinking about where to place one candle. Or find a glimpse of light and shoot. Photography at that time is already seen inside me. I talk a lot with the people I photograph, but only after the shooting. On post-production, I think it's not to be demonized as I see someone doing it: I personally prefer pre-production, but the post-production is a tool like another. It would be good to avoid the paradox of replacing photography with digital practice. And, in the case, it would be good to say it clearly. In general, I always say that the issue of technique is too central, I would like to go back to photography and much less than equipment. It would be very sad, for example, to ask what brushes Caravaggio painted his works instead of questioning their iconology, their deep meaning, their beauty. That is why it would be necessary to move from "how" to "what". This I think would be useful far beyond photography.

Would you mind sharing this information about your photography settings?
Nothing to declare. Really I don't think this is interesting. Just following the «what».

As well, for your creative process, what is it like even before you begin to shoot? Tell me about your pre-visualization process if that's how you work...or are you more spontaneous? Tell me about how you are able to draw such genuine emotion and form from your subjects...

Photography is the art of not pushing the button, as said Frank Horvat. Spontaneity is something really complex. Silence is the no-place of my intuition, or my pre-visualization. In silence almost all of my works has had origin. All what I see and all what I imagine all along the day then I put it into the silence of the night. A kind of visual silence, in which demons chase flowers.


web agency

This website and its content is Copyright © 2012 by Giacomo Por.

All rights reserved. No part of this website may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including printing, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission.

For enquiries and licenses, please do not hesitate to contact me at:
or visit my profiles, available on the Contact page.