The project #magnifyseed is based on a series of pictures of edible seeds. A large amount of different seeds, without their shell, are arranged on a flat surface, shot from above with Hasselblad XCD 120 macro lens and illuminated by two broncolor Picolite+Picobox flashes by the side. The image is then cropped down to 20x20cm and transformed into a 40×40 format to be printed.
The idea to investigate the macro image of seeds comes from different considerations: from a photographic point of view, the way seeds are arranged on a surface creates interesting, sometimes hypnotic patterns, that allow geometrical details and color shades to emerge through the magnified framing. Seeds are no longer elements of the food context and become real artistic components that can generate new insights and perspectives.
Building on the photographic angle, the project evolves into the field of food design: this food product, that is often given for granted, becomes the main ingredient, takes on a leading role in new culinary compositions.
The red thread of the project leads us, in the end, to the ethic side of the medal, as the blown-up image becomes the metaphor of a wider attention seeds are given in relation to the importance of biodiversity and long-term sustainability.
The choice of seeds for the different pictures is made first of all from a photographic perspective (color, structure, shape) and, second, it is based on their rarity and/or specific nutritional characteristics. During the project, they will be clustered by type, if relevant in terms of cluster size.
The ongoing #rawmaterials project is aimed at re-enforcing the importance of products in the food-design process. Raw materials are organized in the space in a way that emphasizes their shapes, colors, interactions and hierarchy among ingredients in a sort of analysis of the main elements that will create the final dish.
Like many others, I am fascinated by the charme of discarded production sites. I can feel their history, through details on their walls and remains of machineries that recall sounds and smells of abandoned processes. And I think of the people who used to work in these places, expert artisans, technicians, workers who mastered professions that do no longer exist.
My attempt is to give new life to these abandoned locations by introducing in the bare space a metaphysical element that is an echo of ancient productions. In this case – a plate-glass manufacturing plant – the “virtual ghosts” are glass-like globes that float in the air, filling in the space and permeating it.
Genova: Antica Friggitoria Carega, Drogheria Torielli, Tripperia La Casana, Antica Confetteria Romanengo, Pasticceria Liquoreria Marescotti di Cavo
At a certain step of evolution, human beings become farmers, breeders, start processing raw materials. Hands are their tools, expression of their growing awareness. Hands shape humanity at work. Here, they are the essence of the sustainable relationship with food, with the Earth and its fruits, that we all should use and respect.
The first three images in this gallery were short-listed at the Festival International de la Photographie Culinaire 2015, were present in the Expo 2015 Exhibition in Milan and, at the same time, at the Carrousel du Louvre and other institutional exhibitions in Paris.
The idea of Xmas time is strictly linked to the idea of luncheons and dinners with relatives and family friends. These convivial occasions – together with religious celebrations, of course – represent the spirit of Christmas itself.
My personal imagination on Christmas food, though, is not related to the official dinner you have on Christmas or New Year’s Eve. My yummy memories go back to the informal parties and meetings with close friends, during the weeks before feast days, i.e. all those situations when offering food and warm chats is a way to welcome people and show affection to them. The gastronomic experiences of my childhood really shaped my sense of taste and largely influenced my professional choices.
We used to start with a very rich early breakfast: cappuccino, bread, butter and jam, some fruits and creamy yogurt. Later in the morning some auntie came with warm focaccia bread (genoese focaccia, thin, with salt and oil), together with delicious preserves to be served with butter and salted fish. The afternoon snack during Christmas holidays was the moment for celebrating sweets and desserts: meringue, cakes with whipped cream and last but not least … almond nougat and panettone, our traditional Christmas cake (pandöçe, as they say in Genova).
A few hours before dinner someone visited us for a drink that came with … fresh cheese, raw vegetables and cold meats. And later on, after dinner, there was always a good reason to end the day with some biscuits or, why not, the typical midnight spaghetti party.
I am really happy all these memories have now become a photographic project, thanks to the fundamental support of Franco Aliberti, a first-class chef, but above all a close friend and a creative partner.
Together with Gianni Tarabini, Franco is Chef at La Présef, a Michelin-starred restaurant within La Florida, a wonderful farm hotel in Valtellina (an area with long-term gastronomic traditions and very high-quality raw materials).
Subjects belong to my childhood and now they return in a surreal atmosphere, as if they came out of the unconscious.The highly refined use of light, the interaction of suspended, superimposed food elements and the shades that become part of the narrative, a fundamental part of the whole scene, convey the real meaning of this project: the personal, Christmas gastronomic memories of me as a child.