Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay
Venice, the beautiful city which turned to be a cliché due to the million tourists’ shots: that’s the metaphor behind Renato D’Agostin’s exhibition, which opened at Leica Gallery in San Francisco in October.
Renato, born in 1983, started as photographer in 2001. We met him in the Bay Area for the launch of his last book, called The Beautiful Cliché, where he offers the magical aspects of the Lagoon city, usually left out in other representations.
Which perspective of Venice did you want to give to your viewers? 
I think that, over years, Venice has been reduced to a representation made of postcards and this has built a common imagery of stereotyped visual elements. I wanted to change and give everyone an unusual perspective.
You shoot just in Black & White. Was it the right choice for a city like Venice? 
The majority of my photography is in black and white. This is how I started and I immediately understood it was the correct alphabet for my visual language. The simplicity works well with my graphic images, and defines the lines of tension in them.
The best thing of Black & White is that photos can make the person live moments besides their historical context. What do you think?
Black and white is more silent than colour and better fits the timeless feeling I look for. The image lives through years without precisely being related to a specific moment. I have been shooting some color films recently, but I prefer black and white. This also because the darkroom is an important aspect to understand and my study my photography.
Why is it important for you to keep all your photos in a book? 
When I started working on my first work in Tokyo, I realized that the best form for the project was a book. It embodies and protects the project as the photographer conceived it. Exhibitions tend to change depending on the space available, the curator, the size of the prints, the color of the walls, and many other elements. The book always preserves the same characteristics, whether you are in Tokyo, New York, or elsewhere. It will always have the same sequencing and feeling through its pages. It has become the way to introduce my work to the world, and I decided to apply it to all my projects.
The Beautiful Cliché, organised by Leica Gallery in partnership with the Italian Institute of Culture, will run until January 31. Mon – Fri: 10am-6pm; Sat:10am-4pm. Leica Gallery, 463 Bush Street, San Francisco
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