The contemporary photography of artist Luca Marziale offers a new and different perspective on the natural landscape, one in which representational photography gives way to abstraction.
A new definition of the landscape
Luca Marziale is a young photographer of Italian and Canadian origin. Born in Lugano, Switzerland, in 1991, he currently lives and works in London. Graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the New York School of Visual Arts, his artistic career started with painting, the influence of which can be seen in his photographic work, especially in terms of texture, colour and style of composition. The artist felt a strong attraction for the natural American landscape, which provided him a return to solitude, tranquility and direct contact with nature, in contrast to the 'metropolitan jungle' of New York.
In his work, Luca Marziale questions the concept of landscape and our idea of the classic landscape. By switching his attention away from the large and expanded views to the small easily overlooked details of nature that surrounds him, the artist focuses his eye on 'micro-landscapes', photographed with zoomed macro lens. These photographs challenge the observer to question their perception and perspective. The landscape has become abstract, the points of reference have disappeared, and the subject of the photograph is not immediately obvious.
"Not all landscapes have to be vast and infinite; sometimes a closer look can be immense in the same way"
Discovering Earth's microorganisms
His project in the Yellowstone Nature Park in the United States inaugurated Luca Marziale's work on micro-landscapes. Here the artist has developed a decided interest for thermophilic bacteria, ancient microorganisms that live at extremely high temperatures and which, according to some scientific theories, could have played a very important role in the evolution of life on Earth.
The environments created by such bacteria hold an astonishing and captivating beauty, which is almost alien and surreal; the artist has become fascinated with their shapes, their colours and their textures. Such locations are also often very hostile to humans because of their extreme climatic conditions. For some trips, the artist needed to be accompanied by a team of specialists in order to carry out his work. A true explorer, Luca Marziale plans his trips carefully after undertaking a research and study phase of this remarkable natural universe.
A technique falling between tradition and contemporaneity
Luca Marziale prefers traditional film photography, of which he particularly appreciates the organic side of the print as well as the creative process which, contrary to digital photography and its unlimited possibilities, requires an almost meditative reflection of the artist to precede the choice of each click. Also, the final result is appreciable only after the development phase of the photos, which allows the artist to distance himself from his work and rediscover it with a new eye.
Luca Marziale uses a Hasselblad camera with a light meter and a spacer for micro landscapes. The photos are developed on positives which are then scanned in high definition with a particular scanner, in order to obtain digital photographs. After a post-production phase during which the artist optimizes the contrasts and eliminates any dust particles, the photographs are finally printed with a chromogenic print (C-type prints), which gives high level image quality on large formats.
Thanks to his refined technique and personal vision of the landscape, Luca Marziale successfully brings the observer closer to unknown and unusual landscapes, creating an inspiring and different photographic world.