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POR UNA CABEZA..HORACIO COPPOLA!

Posted on October 19, 2012 by Isabella Cecconi

Have you ever been to Buenos Aires? To me it’s like feeling home. I simply adore this city, giving that I’m more than sure that I was Evita Peron in my previous life or Carlos Gardel, the tango singer. And do you know who Horacio Coppola is? Oh well, you have to. Think about the 30’s. Think about cafes, side streets and neon-lit boulevards of the capital of magnificent Argentina. Think about ordinary objects like a typewriter or a doll, a shop window, a simple man reading a newspaper, a restaurant. Coppola’s photographs of Buenos Aires are a pictorial love letter to his city, demonstrating Argentine metropolis emerging from its grand traditions to embrace modernity either in its street scenes or nocturnal vistas with bars and music halls, trams and all the vibrant and juicy material of his photography. In his 105 years of life (yes sir, I said 105), Coppola has been documenting his city thought superb black and white shots. Mr. Jorge Luis Borges, a friend to Coppola, launched the photographer’s career by using some of his shots to illustrate a book of poet Evaristo Carriego. Born in Aires, to Italian parents, he was the 10th son of an immigrant couple. All though his long life, Coppola explored many photographic approaches in search of the “magic chiaroscuro”. Coppola’s influences included the modernist movement, architectural angles and shadows and obviously his fascination with cinema. All the shots were executed with a 35mm Leica. Brassai is to Paris like Coppola is to Buenos Aires. Viva Argentina!

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AGAINST OPULENCE AND PRETENTIOUSNESS: JOHN RAWLINGS

Posted on October 9, 2012 by Isabella Cecconi

What a nice story: there’s a boy, born in Ohio in 1912 who has moved to NYC in the 30s to start, after graduation a freelance career as store window dresser. After buying a Leica to photograph his work for potential clients, he has discovered the love for pictures and has started shooting his aristocratic clients. Then, years later you see the same boy in a circle of friends. These friends meet in a Magazine headquarter, for instance let’s say…VOGUE.

I’m talking about the fab five: John Rawlings, Irving Penn, Horst P. Horst, George Hoyningen-Huene, George Platt Lynes. This very time, I’ll brush up John Rawlings, who, with over 200 Vogue and Glamour covers and more than 30,000 photos of personal archive immortalized maybe the best era of American fashion and style. With his three-decade affiliation with Conde Nast, Rawlings has expanded the power of fashion press, giving a never-seen-before attention to society stars of the 1940s and 1950s. His subjects included Marlene Dietrich, Salvador Dali, Veronica Lake, Lena Horne, Montgomery Clift and many, many more. But, when opulence and pretentiousness were prevalent in fashion photography, I’m referring to Brit Cecil Beaton, or German Horst, or the Russian Hoyningen-Huene, Vogue decided to change direction and place more information and less art in its pictures. The change of direction happened to be with a very young and talented Rawlings who later became one of the most prolific and important photographers of the twentieth century. Crave with me these marvellous shots, which are still extremely  contemporary and stunning. You can’t avoid loving Rawlings at first sight and appreciate his simply beautiful photography.

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