Barbieri, Gianpaolo (1940). Italian photographer. He produced a theatrical image of fashion, presented in color and in black and white. Influenced by the cinema of the 1940s and ’50s, he used that experience in setting-up his photos. For example, if a photograph needed to be full of tension, he found inspiration in the anguished Ingrid Bergman of Spellbound. After a start working with his father, an expert in fabrics at Galtrucco, and after an attempt to make his name in the cinema as an actor and as a cameraman, he met Tom Kublin, became his assistant. Afterwards he chose to be a photographer. It was 1964. He worked for Harper’s Bazaar and, in 1965, published his first work for Vogue-Novità.
In the course of time, he produced advertising campaigns for some of the major fashion designers, both Italian and non-Italian, from Saint Laurent to Valentino and from Albini to Versace and Armani. He published the books Artificiale (1982), Silent Portraits (1984), Tahiti Tattoos (1989) and La mappa del desiderio, with a text by Antonio Tabucchi, for the jeweller Pomellato.
An exhibition dedicated to the famous fashion photographer took place at Palazzo Reale in Milan in 2007, who with his 140 color and black and white photos traces the career of the artist who has portrayed the greatest icons of style, including Audrey Hepburn, Sophia Loren, Veruschka, Iman, Jerry Hall and Monica Bellucci.
Other works by Barbieri
In 2008 in Piazza Risorgimento, Rome, Barbieri Gianpaolo celebrated the birth of the first Morellato Gold collection of precious jewels, through a series of shots called The True Nature of Gold.
He also published the book Tahiti Tattoos, with 125 black-and-white photographs on the ritual art of the island.
Moreover the photographer offered his personal interpretation of the calendars which are found all over the walls of Italian homes. For GQ magazine Barbieri portrays the two “handout” girls (ragazze velina) of Striscia la notizia, under the artistic direction of Frankie Mayer.
In the Photology gallery on via della Moscova in Milan, an exhibit about the 1960s and ’70s called Gian Paolo Barbieri — A History of Fashion is dedicated to the photographer’s work of that period.
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