At the fascinating premises of the former town hall, in Gargnano (BS), a picturesque setting directly overlooking Lake Garda, my first personal photo exhibition was held from 8 to 14 August 2023, entitled:
‘Photographic impressions: a different way of seeing things‘.
An exclusive selection of still life photos, landscapes and cities from Italy and the world, taken from 2013 to today, was presented.
There were also two Still Life photos that were reviewed by professionals in the field, such as Vittorio Sgarbi, well-known art critic, Emanuele Beluffi, publicist journalist, Dr. Isabella Fortunato Fedriga, art critic.
Description of the photos with review
Title of the photo:
Tavolo con bicchiere e ghiande
The image belongs to my project “Memories”.
The nineteenth-century setting and Caravaggio-like lighting push the observer to imagine the mess after a banquet.
The still life finds in the seventeenth century the golden age in which to refine, for example, the intensity of the well-known Caravagesque lesson or the Flemish experiences, its expressive and allegorical charge.
Staffetta’s photography approaches these intentions: in the sharpness of the image, the colours, lights and reflections of the objects seem to transcend in a suspended atmosphere which also reveals their common transience.
Vittorio Sgarbi – Art critic
Title of the photo:
The image belongs to my “Food and Drink Still Life” project.
The technique behind this project is to highlight the subject in color, detached from the black/white background.
This composition aims to recreate a nineteenth-century setting, using light reminiscent of Flemish paintings.
The lens aimed at capturing a detail, an atmosphere, a sensation caught in a single, authentic and unrepeatable instant that lives on forever as if inside a painting of subtle nuances. This is how the photography of Maurizio Staffetta, a passionate Tuscan artist, experimenter and connoisseur of the potential of the photographic medium, presents itself.
His images seem to be constructed as if inside a painting, in which the drawing is traced, the lines are marked, the colour is filled in through a skilful modulation of light and shadow, of tonal passages and chiaroscuro contrasts. Whether it is a portrait, an urban architecture, a landscape, a detail, everything is bathed in light and emerges from darkness generating a sense of dramatic and romantic tension. The object lives on the sharp and decisive colour contrasts that the artist manages to give the image quality, playing with light, intensity, direction.
Works such as ‘Autumnal Fruits’ seem to bring to mind scenes of that Caravaggio realism that charged even the inanimate objectivity of still lifes with formal dignity. In this work, which is part of the ‘Food & drink Still Life’ project, in which subjects in colour stand out from black and white backgrounds, fruit seems to emerge from a dark background with all the intensity of its colours, almost as if it were simmering in the pitch dark.
In the half-light, a large open book placed at an angle fills the empty darkness of the space and slopes towards the composition of fruit, directing the gaze there. It is the light that builds, that descends, lapping the elements of the composition and generating zones of bright, intense, luminous colour and more or less marked areas in shadow. There is no dissonance but complementarity. Light creates depth, volume, spatiality and dramatises an instant, a moment of life that is charged with pathos.
Dott.ssa Isabella Fortunato Fedriga – Art critic
In this digital photograph by Maurizio Staffetta echoes the charm of 17th-century still lifes, especially Italian ones, but here there are neither skulls nor musical instruments, but the fruits of autumn (and thus something approaching death), a huge book that is perhaps a Bible, on a very elegant black cloth.
The light is as metaphysical as in Caravaggio’s The Calling of St. Matthew: it seems to come from an impossible point.
It is the moment that flees.
Emanuele Beluffi – Publicist Journalist