«II've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I've watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate…»


I never bothered one of the highest Monologues Film History if not I considered it extremely effective to introduce the work of Maurizio Sapia.

Born in Sanremo in 1966, Sapia begins early twenties studying photography in the Milano da Bere [1], later working in the advertising industry and specializing in still-life, photographic-chic expression of still-life painting. I underline this biographical aspect because it's decisive for the artistic explosion of Our author, bitten by Hamletic dilemma but capable of spontaneous and genuine solutions like those of Elliot Erwitt [2]. Just by a dispassionate consideration of his specialization, Sapia began as a joke to create surreal and poignant works renamed, not surprisingly, Nature Non Morte [3], project elegant as the metal, also the result of analog machines (almost a sketch in pencil), but that opens the way to a path aimed primarily at individual reflection in mass society [4], and turned to the use of his physical image, of its digital body. Here comes Reflections, ambiguous term that alludes to both the mirror image reproduction, both in search of his own self, where the ambiguity is heightened by its mechanical process of the camera, the first real robotics artist offshoot in history. Maybe now it appears clearer citation of Blade Runner.

Maurizio Sapia instinctively ask the same automaton questions, the maximum classical existentialism, applied, however, to its nature as an artist and photographer, as well as the nature of human being and digital account. It's the New Flesh, as he calls Cronenberg, a dehumanization of their image that our author exaggerates with self-portraits and copying itself to infinity up to create new globular and enveloping shapes, from which the Massive project. What better picture to represent the mass?

The ontological discourse on Sapia's self-portraits widens even considering the ambivalence between Photography and pictorial art, real enigma of the twentieth century still (and hopefully never, or hurt her Beauty) unsolved and metaphysically it's reflected in the most recent series of Sanremo photographer, where agglomerations addressed previously "dissolve" into pure (and nonexistent) acrylic color or fade into ignis fatuus that clear up the existential concept in favor of an aesthetic satisfaction. Do not forget the importance of the technical aspect, the purpose use of Photoshop (and derivatives), which examines, in liberating sense, the desire to express themselves through a medium that photographers use everyday but always in small doses: Sapia conversely, drunk it with delight, discovering his artistic vein and playing on the exacerbation of retouch that becomes tarot, because it does not deceive on a fictitious reality, instead creates something patently untrue, but mysterious and fascinating as Rodney Smith [5].

These dream worlds are emphasized in their surreal component from their digital character, created in an era where the physicality of the support is gone, the music you listen and share without touching it with hand and the images, indeed our own physicality is totally entrusted to the constant electronic filing, which Sapia, as I mentioned, records and carefully recreates (does not play like any photography) by filtering it with his sensitivity.

Despite the scientific rigor, the original artist manages to convey a certain poetry to its productions, perceptible both empathy that today's audience has accrued to these media (digital photography), both to the allegory of the titles that tell at the same time the hidden and obvious history of the Photographer Artist Maurizio Sapia.

1 Journalistic term for Milan of the Eighties, literally "Milan to drink".

2 The leading photographer of Magnum, known for strong ironic of his shots.

3 Pun with the italian term Natura Morta (Still life, in enlgish), translated as Still Undead or Undead life.

4 Important to mention Walter Benjamin and his essay "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction" (1936), along with the delicious "A short history of photography" (1931).

5 Considered the father of Surrealism Photo, its work modeled on the painting of Rene Magritte.

Luca Sposato