Rodrigo Pais – Sguardi sulla Moda presents the perspective of photographer Rodrigo Pais on Italian fashion between the fifties and sixties. All the images published in the volume are taken from the Rodrigo Pais archive kept at the University Library of Bologna. Curated by Guido Gambetta and Simona Segre Reinach, and through essays by Glenda Furini, Vittoria Caterina Caratozzolo, Chiara Pompa and Bianca Cappello, the catalog shows Pais’s work through the lens of fashion and offers a still little explored reading of his work. Rodrigo Pais – Sguardi sulla Moda confirms the social, cultural, representative and political value of Italian fashion. With Pais – photojournalist of Vie Nuove and then of l’’Unità – fashion is confirmed as an important junction within a visual and anthropological story of our country. Clothes, jewels, fashion shows, portraits of tailors and fashion houses populate the volume through an original and effective gaze in grasping the relevance of an Italian fashion in its intertwining with cinema and post-World War II politics.
The world of Pais was that of politics, sports, cinema, literature and the jet set but also that of the common people, on the streets of the center and of the suburbs of a Rome in rapid construction expansion.
Rodrigo Pais – Sguardi sulla Moda underlines the photographer’s extraordinary ability to grasp, precisely through fashion, those cultural and social stratifications that interested him so much in every respect.
Rodrigo Pais was born in Rome on 28 September 1930. After having carried out the most disparate jobs, he began to take an interest in photography and in 1946 he began working as a printer in the Binazzi and Lombardini photographic laboratory.
Since 1950 his activity has focused on reportage: he collaborates with the weekly Vie Nuove and in 1954 he joined the editorial staff of l’Unità which he would have defined as” his great love “and for which he worked from June 1977 to February 1983. His collaborations also continue with Paese Sera, Corriere della Sera, Corriere d ‘informazione and La Stampa. With Giorgio Sartarelli he founded the Pais e Sartarelli Agency which, until 1972, the year of its dissolution, became one of the best known nationally and internationally.
His activity continued until 1998, so much so that he collected about 400,000 photographs that make up his current fund, divided into thematic macro-areas: Italian politics, customs, sports, Roman villages, la dolce vita, writers and literary awards. The section dedicated to cinema is certainly substantial: during his activity he has in fact immortalized more than one hundred film sets, between Cinecittà and the Roman surroundings. His shots, taken on the sets of the films of Federico Fellini, Vittorio De Sica, Jean-Luc Godard, Dino Risi, Elio Petri, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Luigi Comencini, Luciano Salce, always show us the most candid and everyday side of life, catched with the watchful eye of Pais, who never abandons the most exquisitely reportage style.