Two years ago marked the American debut of work by photographer Francesco Pergolesi, who was raised in Spoleto, an Italian village filled with artisan shops and small businesses. His series, Heroes, features work inspired by the people and places from his childhood that are slowly disappearing: the watchmaker fixing old time pieces; the frame shop where hand-milled frames line the walls; and the local cobbler whose walls are covered with leather hides. Working in collaboration with the shopkeepers, Pergolesi presents narratives that honor the past, while preserving the present. Work from Heroes is not only printed and framed traditionally, but also presented as small boxes lit from within by a LED light.
The artist was born in Venice in 1975. He lives and works between Spoleto, Rome and Barcelona.After finishing his law degree, he dedicated himself entirely to photography. He is an artist-photographer whose work explores the territory of memory. Every single shot is a kind of a theater scene. His subjects are revealed in the lights and shadows reminiscent of Flemish paintings. As he states:
“When I was a child I used to walk free exploring my village streets. I remember I loved to spend time in the little cobbler or the grocery where my Grandmother sent me to shop. Time seemed to be extended and let me feel the sense of freedom. I grew up loving neighborhoods where human relationships were the center of life. I realized early on those places were disappearing as pushed by a mysterious force, a new era was coming.”
Francesco Pergolesi sees himself as a guardian of a vanishing world where people congregate to talk about families and daily activities. Every Hero unearths a person from his past…and every photograph becomes a new theater set, inspiring him every day, as he continues to wander the streets looking for a connection.
See more work by the artist, and interviews with Francesco on our website, here.