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Cover – Giovanni Lunardi – Giovanni Lunardi Photography

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Giovanni Lunardi’s View of the World

By Richard F. Corrigan

It is said that to understand a man’s life you have to walk in his shoes. You can’t, really. But for the first time, you will be allowed to look through another man’s eyes.

This is an invitation to view something you have never before been allowed to experience. It’s not scary, but it may cause you to gasp. Your jaw may drop, and you may hear yourself utter words like, “Unbelievable! Amazing! Phenomenal! WOW!”

There is not any one of your friends or acquaintances you are even close to knowing as intimately as you will come to know Giovanni Lunardi after you begin filling your eyes with his handiwork. Every photo you view, every piece of art, every representation is a chance to see the world through his eyes.

Gaze upon his creations. It’s as if you are inside his head, observing the universe through his eyes. You will step into his world, uncensored, unabridged, uncorrupted, and naked with truth.

Within these pages, you will take a short journey that will surely whet your appetite for more. Sit down, get comfortable, journey inside his mind, and experience his world. What you see is what he sees. There is nothing hidden, nothing prefabricated, nothing unnatural, only what is revealed by the light whether it be from the sun or artificially generated. You’ll see the world as he sees it; sometimes in color, sometimes in black and white.

Giovanni has followed the sun all over the world, deciding that his current hometown of Sarasota provides better light than Africa, the Caribbean, Europe, or California.

The morning’s rays firing across Florida creates the perfect exposure upon the sand of the state’s western shore and the Gulf waters. And in the afternoon, the light is the purest on the planet. “It’s the people, the weather, the opportunity. That is why I come to Sarasota. There are ways to use the whole day for photos.”

However, surprisingly, a bright sun and a deep blue sky are not ideal for outside shots. But Giovanni knows how to capitalize on the conditions and create a masterpiece. But what does Giovanni really see?

When he looks at you, he sees all the greatness, the beauty, and the generations of lineage in your face. He is captivated by the way you move, hold yourself, and the language of your body when you are in conversation, working, or just relaxing. He sees this, and captures it.

He has allowed himself to be the tool of another force that has guided him throughout his life. He is the looking glass of the planet. For whatever guides him, he sees truly, surely, purely all that creation displays and awaits documentation.

When Giovanni was first learning his profession, he worked with the four best fashion photographers in the world: Richard Avedon, Guy Burdin, Helmut Newton, and David Bailey. Early on he met his wife, Ines. She was seventeen, blonde, tall, and beautiful. He took photos of her and presented them to the editor of the famous fashion magazine for which he was working — Amica. They loved his shots of her and placed her on the cover over 500 times.

Then he met Jean Shrimpton — one of the world’s most famous fashion models. He was introduced to Catherine Deneuve, Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones along with Rod Stewart.

So, Giovanni is not starstruck by celebrity. The names of the Gulf Coast notables he has met and photographed are too numerous to mention. But he also loves to photograph those who have not yet become famous. He has done this with Carol Alt whose career took off after his photos and also Charlize Theron. Thousands of people have entered his frames, and those photos have become future artifacts of history: icons of decades past and future representations of millennia to come.

It is the 50th anniversary of the opening of Giovanni’s Milan studio. When he first moved to Sarasota, Italian designers sent their newly-created clothes to Giovanni and he had to find models, take the photos, and send the prints back to Italy to be used in their fashion publications. Giovanni’s photos have appeared on the covers of over 4,000 magazines, worldwide.

Back in the 70s, Giovanni began experimenting with “cut” photos. One day, he happened to be strolling along a fence near a beach. Of course he never went anywhere without his camera. The water and sand were on the other side but were hidden. He stepped back and took a photo of the wall with the blue sky beyond and wondered what he couldn’t see. He walked until he came to the end of the barrier and saw the beach and water. He took a photo of the natural scene. Back in his studio he set the two printed photos alongside each other. “What can I do with these?” he said.

Then it struck him. He decided to cut the walled photo in the middle from the top about two-thirds of the way down and curl the corners back. He then placed the beach-water-and-sky photo behind it. His “cut-photo” idea was borne. This led to his experiment with 3D. And good fortune followed.

To Giovanni’s Milan studio one day came a representative of Monsanto. They saw the 3D work he was doing (this was in the late 70s) and asked if he could make a number of boxes incorporating his photos and fabric used in their products. The results were 28 works of art that Monsanto exhibited all over Europe and then followed up with a brochure titled, “Paintings Commissioned for Monsanto.”

Giovanni has always liked to experiment and discover new methods of expression. Like the great Italian explorers Cristoforo Colombo, Marco Polo, Giovanni da Verrazzano, and Amerigo Vespucci; Giovanni Lunardi has been exploring all his life: seeking new means to exhibit the majesty of the world so the public can see what he sees.

Giovanni explains, “During my career, my goal has been to give my photographs light, depth and contrast to avoid flatness in my pictures printed on paper or on the pages of magazines. Working in 3D has allowed me to achieve this goal. By giving volume to my photographs and being able to see beyond the images, I have satisfied my visual needs and imagination.”

Without the aid of those 3D glasses with one lens red and the other cyan (greenish-blue color), the observer of Giovanni’s art can experience three-dimensional depth as in real life. His 3D compositions draw your eye into a world that only he sees. But with the aid of Giovanni’s photography and other medium he manipulates in unique and surprising ways, the beautiful two-dimensional pieces of art suddenly develop into three dimensional empirical stimuli threatening to morph into a fourth.

Giovanni’s studio is the largest and most complete on the Gulf Coast. A person need only show up and professional makeup, hair styling, clothing, jewelry, and touchups are provided. Giovanni is a wizard with light — whether natural or artificial. His portraits not only radiate the person’s natural beauty and uniqueness, but he never fails to capture the subject’s personality. When the picture-taking is complete, Giovanni studies each photo to see how to make it perfect — through enhancement, not elimination.

“Photo-shopping has been going on since the 1800s,” Giovanni states. Back then, to make photos look better, photographers would scratch out the undesirable sections of a black and white photo and fill it in with similar-toned ink.

Currently, Giovanni is experimenting with a brand new concept he calls “Explosion.” It is 3D, but it also expresses movement.

Giovanni explains, “The cuts through the images let us search a world beyond the limits of a photographic picture. The objects give more depth to the photos — shadows, movement, and color which give insight and life to the images. The work is then confined by thick shadowboxes which create a separate dimension for the art to live in — a dimension with its own constraints, light, colors and atmosphere.

“In the past few years my work has expanded in a new direction. ‘Explosion’ is a project that pushed me to search in each piece a strong and constant movement realized with exploded photographs overlaid one on top of the other. The explosion can be the result of many factors: speed, sound, wind, etc.

“The subjects for the ‘Explosion’ series are very diverse in nature: people, animals, plants, vehicles or other inanimate objects. The observer is captivated by the movement of the images, but the art is bound by dark shadowboxes that confines it in a surrealistic way to keep it from escaping.”

Giovanni is concurrently gearing up to create a black and white exposé of the real beauty, handsomeness, and the uniqueness of the 21st century citizens who live on the Gulf Coast — those distinctive, hardworking, down-to-earth people. And, oh by the way, in 2015 Giovanni became a naturalized citizen of the United States.

Open your eyes and see what he sees — and discover the world of Giovanni Lunardi.

Giovanni Lunardi
Giovanni Lunardi Photography
www.Lunardi.com
(941) 359.9155
1855 University Parkway
Sarasota, FL 34243

Copyright © 2015 REAL Exclusive Magazine
Links to this article are encouraged

Photography used under license from Giovanni Lunardi Photography
Photography Copyright © 2015 Giovanni Lunardi Photography

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