The Park Gallery
The Park Gallery is a contemporary visual arts and crafts gallery situated in Callendar
House. The exhibition programme includes work by local, national and international
artists and makers. It also offers a programme of workshops and gallery talks, often
led by the exhibiting artists and makers, for most of the scheduled exhibitions.
'Fantasia' by Fabrizio Gianni
1st May - 30th August 2015
Fabrizio Gianni is a genuine photography legend. He has had a stellar career which began in film and moved into fashion photography. His photography exhibition at The Park Gallery focuses on his work for fashion magazines such as Italian Elle, Italian and French Vogue, GQ, Harper’s Bazaar and Figaro, to name but a few.
Fabrizio has photographed celebrities galore from Charlize Theron to Andy McDowell to Anthony Hopkins, Keanu Reeves and more. He was Assistant Director in 'The Good, The Bad and The Ugly', and a spaghetti western film he wrote and starred in, which he dismisses as awful, is actually a favourite of Quentin Tarantino.
Fabrizio’s cinematic past has always informed his photography and he has never lost his eye for scene-setting or his flair for the dramatic. The fashion stills, conceived by Gianni, hint at stories going on behind the scenes, and were all featured in glossy magazines. His portfolio reveals a life’s work of images of beautiful and sensual people, dressed by Giorgio Armani and Ralph Lauren and posing against some of the most exotic backdrops in the world.
Gianni’s eye for detail meant he sourced props himself, aiming to tell a nostalgic and romantic story woven around the lingerie, shoes and clothes he photographed.
“I never lost sight of the fact that my job was to persuade women they should remember the clothes - that they are beautiful and sexy but in fact it’s the model who is beautiful and sexy not the dress she is wearing. Designers don’t always think about the woman they are designing for and it was my job to put the clothes into settings to show them being worn. When they are on the catwalk they are not really clothes they are surrealistic works of art. I have to make them look real.”
This exhibition highlights how he accomplished this by creating storylines; revealing a lost past that is inspired by and partly drawn from photographs of his parents taken in the 1940s, and of his grandparents from the 1920s, with a bit of inspiration from Hollywood’s golden era. The people in his photographs appear to have landed from another era as if they’ve stepped out of a film. One fashion spread recounts the story of Hemingway’s The Moveable Feast, inspired by his nights in Paris, going on drunken pub crawls with F Scott Fitzgerald. Another pays tribute to fine art photographer Tina Modotti, a former silent movie actress, who took part in the Mexican revolution and befriended Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo.
“Working a camera” Gianni admits “is child’s play”. It is the craft of photography that is difficult, requiring a photographer to express his artistic intuition with a lyrical spirituality”. He says an eight year old child can use a camera. “It’s how you use the light that is important and I only use natural light because God is the best photographer. I very rarely allow the models to wear make-up. Foundation shows up and it’s very artificial. If a girl has skin like a peach, why would you want to see it covered in make up?”
Fabrizio has lived and worked in Rome, Milan, London, Paris, New York and Tokyo and now lives in Falkirk with his Scottish wife, a model turned advocate.
BBC interview: Fabrizio Gianni brings high fashion to Falkirk
Free parking for cars is available a short walk from the gallery. The Park Gallery
is wheelchair accessible. Guide Dogs and Hearing Dogs for the Deaf are welcome.