A success story: Stefano Vigni, photographer and ex-pupil LABA.
The Blog of the free Accademia di Belle Arti di Firenze is pleased to host an ex-pupil of the three-year photography course: Stefano Vigni, dynamic and capable sienese photographer who, in a few years, he managed to make his passion for photography a profession full of numerous artistic satisfaction and achievements. Collaborations with important companies, personal research focused on the Italian territory, founding of a publishing house, are just a few of the salient features of its rich curriculum. We find out the rest!
Dear Stephen, it’s a pleasure to find you here. Not to use the term case finding: you too, in fact, you’ve been a LABA student in Florence. I remember you from those years? What do you think this has taught you to institute your next bright professional career?
The thing is beautiful, the years of the Academy were for me a real test … always interesting and full of stimuli. The creative atmosphere that is breathed in a school as the LABA is a continuous source of inspiration, not to mention the contamination between the various disciplines, the stimuli that originate by teachers and the work of other students … you’ll remember well dear Gaia, which in those years there were guys with interesting ideas and projects and this has been for me a constant spur to improve; competitiveness and constructive criticism are crucial part in personal research work and that is where I first learned to confront the plans of others. This school taught me to be open to more possibilities. The coolest thing was to express my creativity through 360° and try to compete with the techniques and the most varied photographic solutions: so having made the full rotation of the experiences I have chosen objectively what was the right way for me, what most interested me.
You just 34 years, but your resume is worthy of the most successful professionals in the field. Not only have you worked for big-name international industry, but were you able to pursue a career as a contemporary author, exposing regularly, since 2006, at art galleries and cultural spaces. In addition, follow the teaching profession. How can you combine all the facets of the diamond called Creativity? Are you part of a single universe that work in synergy in its parts?
Thank you for your kind compliments, but to be honest I am convinced that in this profession you should never consider arrived and that we should put in front always new goals to try to improve and enrich the experiences. I am happy and I have to admit that I’ve been lucky to have had this opportunity and on the other hand I can say not I ever pulled back, but rather that I proposed to try and enhance my portfolio and grow my curriculum: so I guess I’m grown I, humanly and professionally with photography and therefore I hope are “grown” even my photographs. Try to coexist all these different facets is challenging but our business requires it. I believe that photography is a difficult job and you can do it only if you have a bottomless passion: a trade that we must reinvent day by day, being careful to change that suffers but without changing too much themselves to avoid distorting their image concept: this is the most complicated. The world of photography is subject to sudden changes. It is the mirror of our society and that is why sometimes it is easy to fall and be fascinated by “mode” and photographic styles ranging for the major; This challenge is even greater, you should try to stay yourself and try to be original (or at least pretend to be).
Your versatility has also brought focus to self-publishing – tendency for more on continues ascent – so you’ve established an independent publishing house called Seipersei. Why this choice to go back to promote the photographic book printed? Do you think this is the future of documentary photography and reportage?
I always thought that doing a book was in the natural path of each photographer: a bit like making your view or publish their images on a magazine. An experience from which we cannot ignore. Not a point of arrival or departure, but crucial part of a very complex business. And that’s what I’ve always wanted to do with my photographs: collect in small volumes to keep closely guarded in its archives. That’s why I founded Seipersei, to collect my books in a container with a staff editorial, that is the way I see the photo today. The photo book is an artwork portfolio, is conceptually different from that from the point of view of the observer’s visual approach: it has a soul and lives of alchemy that are built with the experience. I also believe that photography is going through a time of change and that through the use of modern technology the photographers are back on the road to regaining possession of what until a few years ago seemed impossible to most people: see their images collected in a book of photographs of the author. And see this book on the shelves of a bookstore or a library, next to those of great photographers to whom you always inspired is a conquest: personal intellectual and material – but also tangible at the same time. So, in answer to your question, is the future but also the present because it brings to light the work of photographers who until a few years ago would remain closed in the archive due to a saturated market where it’s hard to position themselves as author. And it is the future of photography, not only that of documentary or reportage: the photo book is a genuine form of artistic expression and that is why every day we see out beautiful books, whether they are personal or other research.
You were recently at the Exhibitions in the historical centre of Prato with “20000km”. Just as is the reissue of “Magic field”, proposed for sale along with a numbered and signed. We cannot fail to remember “Drifts” second volume of a trilogy of “20000km” which is the first exit. The three cited works have a common denominator: the analytical approach towards the Italian territory. Wish to continue working in this direction? Some anticipation about the projects you’re working on?
The interest that I have towards our country is definitely the thruster engine of my personal research: Italy is fascinating but it’s also a place where both the beauty and the great contradictions that have marked our recent history. And this for me is a rich source of inspiration continues. The contrasts and wounds showing on her pretty face intrigue me and make me think about the multiple possibilities of photographic research that I wish I could explore in future. Now I’m working on the third volume of the trilogy: the theme that I’m facing is the football. I’ve never been a big fan of the sport, but it’s a key that I chose to tell the Italians, always divided on the most important choices to make, but never in doubt when you get a chance to fall out for a game of football and cheer on their team.
Thanking you for your availability, I have one last question from ports: what you feel to advise our young emerging photographers?
I never tire of repeating it and I always recommend during lectures and workshops: do not deny never even a possibility, because everything you need is experience. If we talk about personal research, be yourself and work only on what really interests you, what is yours and feel right inside of you: do not be take from “mode”, otherwise you risk to create images that become repeat only faded reality.