• Raffaele Montepaone
  • 2015
  • Inv. No. 147.15.04
  • Edition 9 + 2 AP
  • Categories: Ritratto, Persone

RaffaeleMontepaone’s series Life stemmed from several journeys in the mostremote towns of Calabria (Italy). Subjects of these shots are the old women wholive in the region, the guardians of traditions and values that are undergoingseveral changes but that are nonetheless the repository of a deep devotion anda strong sense of identity. Montepaone’s portraits are something more than justphotographs: through the story of these wrinkled and sad faces, marked by thepassing of time, we can see the remains of the long and intense lives of thesewomen - rooted in a land that became a grain of their souls. They look neat andproud, dignified and yet simple: the typical features of a way of life that isinexorably fading away. They seem to be not just posing, but fully exposingthemselves, and we can get to contemplate with them their own souls and lives,which are slowly flowing off their eyes. Whether their faces are framed with adark veil that hide the forehead or with a crown of white hair, their eyes arealways powerful magnets that mesmerise the observers.
Raffaele Montepaone was born and raised in an artistic environment, and moved his first steps into the world of photography working in the family studio as a teenage boy. There, he developed his photography skills, starting to work with a 35mm. He focuses on the reportage technique where the human figure with all its authenticity has a pivotal role. In 2006 there as a flood in Vibo Valentina, which the photographer documented in his project 3 July 2016 and donate the proceeds to the population afflicted by this natural disaster. In 2007, he undertook Life, a photo reportage on his motherland, Calabria (Italy), and on the lives of the local elderly: Montepaone captured the humble scenery of Southern Italy, immortalising its ancient values and the people’s strong connection to the land. Montepaone’s shots are so intense that were featured in the photo gallery Calabria in Bianco e Nero published by La Repubblica. He won the Talent prize 2015. In November 2015, he showed his photos at the Caroussel du Louvre in the exhibition Spazio Farini 6 in Paris. In 2016 the AFI (Italian Photographic Archive) sponsored his personal exhibit in Legnano for the European Phtographic festival. In that period, Christie’s sold one of his artworks so that it could be inserted in volume Characters and Landscape of Italy of the same auction house. Then, he can be seen as a protagonist in a collective exposition in Grenoble, at la Maison de l’International, and in a personal exhibition at the gallery EX-NIHILO. Many journals wrote about him: Il Fotografo, Arts Life, Repubblica, Il Resto del Carlino, Insideart, Wall Street Journal, Vanity Fair, Le Petit Bulletin.