Ritratto Gratis, 2012
Archival Pigment Prints
5x5" and 16x16"
Around the year 1200 St. Francis, a simple church Friar from Assisi, challenged the church government and society in general with a message of non-materialism and simplicity which was eventually blessed by the Pope and embraced by his namesake order “the Franciscans”.
The concept “Ritratto Gratis” or “Free Portrait” is one I felt was fitting for the historical town of Assisi, as it was inspired by the concept of selfless giving introduced by St. Francis. I was inspired by his quote: “remember that when you leave this earth, you can take with you nothing that you have received–only what you have given.” During a summer residency, I photographed 100 residents in nearby Umbrian towns in and around Assisi and produced free portraits which they collected at the International exhibition in Assisi at the Gallery Le Logge inside the Mayors building.
As an artist practicing digital imaging since 1996 – I conscientiously chose a different direct “on camera” view as an effort to capture the person with minimal manipulation aside from basic camera controls. I tried to keep the material presence of the work to an absolute minimum.