Curated by Erika Z. Figabomba, Alessandra Tisato
The project of this book began in 2013 in the United States when the authors, Erika Z. Figabomba and Alessandra Tisato, drove from Nevada through San Diego to the Bay Area taking over 10,000 photos of women (and not only) beautiful, powerful and not victims of gender stereotypes. These photographs not only celebrate beauty in a way that is far from the glossy, glossy images of fashion and advertising, but they also explore the meaning of nudity in a society that seems to prioritize superficial entertainment over women. It is a hymn to non-binary sexuality and the complex meaning of body positive.
Taken between the 1970s and the early 1990s, most of the photographs record the life in Palermo and its complex reality in those years, from mob killings to precarious conditions of children “at risk”, from poor districts’ life to aristocratic parties. Alongside this main set of photographs, there are some pictures taken abroad, for example in New York (1986), where Letizia received the New York Times Award and where the previous year she also won the W. Eugene Smith Fund Grant – the first European woman to receive that prize. The exhibit also displays a photograph from Arkhangelsk, U.S.S.R, where a group of nurses is concealed behind their masks, a (sadly) contemporary portrait of these days. Finally, some pictures were taken in the psychiatric department of a women’s prison in Madrid in 1987.
Letizia Battaglia says about the first years she was taking pictures for the articles she was writing in Milan: “With the camera I’ve conquered myself and my independence”. Questioned about the days of the brutal murders in Palermo, period of her most intense activity, she states: “I have been living those years with much sorrow and shame, because things that were impossible to imagine were happening.”
Alessandra Tisato was born in Milan. Italy. where she now lives and works. She has gradutated in visual arts at the Istituto Europeo di Design in 2001, majoring in photography and continued her studies at the school of Visual Arts, New York. She has been working as a freelance photographer since 2001, mainly in the fields of fashions and portrait photography, with clients such as BMW, Nike, Sony Music, Universal Music and EMI. Her collaboration includes magazines such as Vice, Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone and more.
Erika Z. Figabomba was born in Venice, Italy. She is a freelance photographer ‘extraordinaire’ with proven experience working with newspapers and magazine production, both printed and digital. The majority of her work involves people and their surroundings. Pro photographer since 2002, Erika worked as an art-director and dance performer for about a decade. She currently resides in the Netherlands, having lived previously in London and Berlin. Some of her collaborations include international Fashion and Tatto Magazines and Internation Publishers such as Teneues and Ammo Books.
B.A.D. Beautiful And Determined
Photographer Erika Z. Figabomba, Alessandra Tisato