The Art of Advertising - Interview with Giovanni Villa

When did your "adventure" in the world of photography start?
«In 1998, in Bologna, I attended a two-year photography course held by Luciano Nicolini, a professional photographer, at the Ikonos school. After that, since my interests where shifting towards the world of fashion, I attended another course at the John Kaverdash, a very well-known school in Milan».
 
How did your studies progress after that?
«In 2000, I started working as Gianpiero Casadei’s assistant, a very capable photographer from Bologna who is still involved in digital and industrial photography. This experience enabled me to meet various famous photographers and also to work with some of them. Among them, I remember Jerard Ransigna from Paris, Giovanni Cavassi, Graziano Ferrari (Einaudi sfilate) and last but not least Luca Castelli. Eventually, in 2004, Publicity in action was born, an art photography project that I developed while I was travelling».
 
Alidem’s photographs belong to this project, do not they?
«Yes, you are very right. Alidem’s photos represent fragments of billboards that I saw during my journeys in Italy and abroad, from 2004 up to now. They are mainly billboards gluedon walls and wore off by the weather, to whom I try to give a new soul and therefore a new life. With my camera, I try to transform these static urban elements into dynamic ones, especially playing with the frame angles, the light and the medium. I aim to capture the stunning beauty of the small details that often go overlooked due to our hectic modern lifestyle. Even though Publicity in action is still under development, I hold that today my technique has improved: I am focusing on a wider variety of subjects, definitely more interesting».
 
Do you use lots of post-production?
«I just take pictures of billboards as they appear, I don’t digitally edit anything. The only subtlety that I use is to frame my photos including a larger portion of the scene, so that I still have the possibility of cutting the edges off. Usually I accompany my photographs with a kind of very thin black frame that makes my images pretty recognisable among those of other photographers - but this does not apply to the photos that are now in Alidem’s collection».
 
What are your plans for the future?
«I am currently working on several projects involving mostly exhibitions at galleries and museums».