What got you started in photography?
I started to travel across Europe, even on my own, when I was quite young. I remember being about fourteen. I have always loved traveling and have mostly usually felt more at home abroad than in my home country. I also remember my grandfather giving me a camera and some lenses as a present around that time. He also built a darkroom for me, which I used for a long long time. I have been taking pictures since then and never really stopped until a couple of years ago. I studied Humanities in high school and university though, so I never thought photography or art would become a sort of profession for me, although I worked as assistant of a fashion photographer for a couple of years while attending university. Above all, I remember really really wanting to take photographs of a particular guy I fell in love with when I was about twenty. That was when photography became important and necessary to me, and when I felt I wanted to be close to art. I have also never been good with words or at speaking, so images have always been my voice. It's never been photography only for me though, but a combination of photography and traveling, and relocating, that really became my work over time and is at the core of my practice.
Do you consider what you do 'art'? Or do you think of it more in terms of strict image-capture and study? Or do you think of it in entirely different terms?
I did not study art or photography, and not even architecture, and I am completely self-taught, so always felt I was not really entitled to work as an artist, and that real artists would probably get mad at me if I ever tried. However I have been working as an artist for the last ten years at least, and am so hoping I can continue to do so a little longer.
Did your earlier works differ considerably in substance and presentation from your more recent works?
While I hope that my work has evolved in many ways over the years, I also feel that all along I have been consistently looking for the very same thing.
I spent some time in Los Angeles for the first time in 2002 as an artist-in-residence at the MAK Center for Art and Architecture. I started to spend more and more time there since then, as I was really fascinated by the houses European architects such as Schindler and Neutra built there. They moved there to built the houses of their dreams and you can really feel that. I am not so much into architecture as such, so that was a good and more interesting territory for me to explore. Los Angeles has been my second home and my studio, too, since then, and at the beginning of this year I decided to just move there and leave my house in Italy as I was not really using it that much, and when I was there I would just spend most of my time thinking about Los Angeles anyway.
Why modernist residencies?
Architecture is just one of the elements that struck me about them, and not the most important one. Many of them just allow you to enter a much more immaterial and ephemeral dimension, which really goes beyond architecture. Besides, I have mostly been photographing houses all along, and I find the owners of such houses, especially in California, to be much happier to show them and share them with you than in other places. There is a sense of community there which I really appreciate and that is something I was not used to at all. As a result I have managed to photograph a few of them as I was not feeling so intrusive there. On the contrary, I felt that I could actually really spend some time there. I never felt that way in Italy.
Who were some of your biggest influences?
It would be hard for me to single out one person or artist. I have been influenced by film and architecture just as much as by literature and photography. If I had to mention one single person I would probably say the American painter Agnes Martin. Her work is marked by a strong focus on lines, grids, and fields of extremely subtle color.
Is Luhring Augustine your first gallery in the States? Are you also represented in LA? Italy?
I have been working with Marc Foxx in LA for almost ten years now. There are a number of galleries that show my work in Brazil, Japan, the UK and also Italy.
How did you find a gallery that you liked in the first place?
I was approached by a number of galleries when I started out as an artist and showed my work. I was very fortunate that there has always been an interest in my work from the side of galleries, museums and curators.
When researching and/or finding a location to photograph, what are some of the things you look for? What are some of the things you notice first, before anything else?
At this point I am more or less certain about which places and locations I want to photograph in the future. The most important element is the light.
In the "Certain Variables" series of photographs, did you capture images of the locations that you found the most compelling on a personal level? Or the images that you thought would make the best photograph? Is there a difference?
The works are about capture a mood. They are capturing the mood that I am experiencing when I am inside the buildings. In many ways my works are self portraits, not so much of my psychical self but my psychological self. I am looking at buildings as restrains that I need to overcome, that I am trying to find a way out off.
Do you see yourself staying with photography for some time? Do you ever think about switching mediums? Becoming something else besides an artist?
I have done some work with 16 mm film in the past and I would like to go back to that as well when the moment is right. But photography is certainly my main medium.
Do you see any kind of 'evolution' in your work? If so, can you describe?
Yes there is a lot of development between the work I do now and the work I did 10 years ago. There have been various phases also related to where I was able to travel to. The images have become more and more subjective in the way they depict architecture. I would say I have become less and less dependent on architecture.