Alessandro Furchino Capria
Photographer and art director Alessandro Furchino Capria was born in Turin under the shadow of the Castello di Rivoli. He lived there until he moved to Milan, the city where he now charges his batteries and those of his cameras. He developed a refined eye for both fashion and non fashion photography, especially in portraiture. Skilful handling of light and accurate color balance are the main characteristics in all of his works, which add harmony and balance in proportion. His pictures have been published in Zeit Magazin, Monocle, WSJ-Wall Street Journal Magazine, Wallpaper, W Magazine, L’Officiel Hommes Paris and many more. Amongst his clients are Versace, Trussardi, Andrea Pompilio, YOOX, Matches Fashion, Sunnei and Mr. Porter.
- *1982, lives and works in Milan.
- Books: Reminiscence of Summer (2014), Dicembre (2015)
- Publications: NSS, Un viaggio nella mente di Alessandro Furchino Capria con The Relations (Mr-Captain); Lens Culture, Mr.Captain; It’s Nice That, Gufram – Space Magazine; One year of Books, Dicembre; Hunger, Dicembre; It’s Nice That, Reminiscence of Summer; Platinum Love, Reminiscence of Summer;
“Il nuovo vocabolario della Moda Italiana” (Group), Triennale di Milano 2015-2016
“Beyond Love, Desolation & Devotion” (Group), St.James Cavalier, Malta 2015
“Reminiscence of Summer” (Group), New York Photofestival – Photoworld, NY 2014
“Kokoro” (Group), Camera 16, Milan 2011
“I spend a lot of time observing light.“
When did you become interested in photography and what triggered that interest?
As a master of time wasting, I started late since photography wasn’t something I really had in mind up until my early twenties. I fell in love with it at a retrospective exhibition of Richard Avedon in Milan, and was immediately struck by the intensity of his portraits and the strength of his prints.
Do you remember the first picture you took? Your first camera?
No tearjerker content here. I do remember my first camera though, it all started with a Hasselblad. I was deeply fascinated by the heritage of such a complex object: especially by the physical, analog, mechanism of photography and traditional photo processing.
When did you realise that this is what you wanted to with your life?
Like I said, I had what they call my ‘epiphany moment’ at this Richard Avedon retrospective. That was the first time I felt I was looking at something extremely powerful, without actually knowing much about photography and especially about that kind of authorial photography. That was the moment I realized that I wanted to be not only a photographer, but also an author.
Ok, so what happened after you decided to become a photographer, did you go to an art school, or did you just pick up a camera and went for it?
Mine was a very holistic, and especially hands-on approach. I started assisting, as I was eager to learn the actual art of photography. I felt like I needed to build and work on a solid know-how in terms of technical skills. A huge part of my growing process has been deep personal research and relentless, constant study. I perceive it as a sort of duty in order to be validated as a ‘creator’ myself.
What was your first assignment and what happened from there?
Another Magazine sent me to document what happened backstage at the main fashion shows in Milan during the woman fashion week in February.
I had a good start but I was at the bottom of the mountain and I’m still climbing this infinite peak.
What’s the main difference between commissioned and free work for you?
From the dawn of time, the artist-commissioner relationship has always been a delicate topic, in terms of fragile balance and blurry boundaries between creative freedom and the actual will of the client. On one hand, we all know it’s not possible to live in this society without commissioned work, and -being a professional- this is part of my life. Of course I’d much rather be free and do my own thing and that’s the reason why I engage in my personal research and develop personal projects. One big goal is managing to match my personal research with commissioned jobs, as it happened with one of my published book.
Being an art director helps me approach a project with a more comprehensive vision, taking the final result and actual product into consideration. This distinct holistic perspective allows me to work organically both on photography and art direction, while giving a sense of continuum to my published works.
What’s fascinating about portraits for you?
As an introvert, portraiture is a way for me to be in contact with my subject on another level, without committing to a full on conversation.
It’s a way to document and represent someone in that precise moment, without them giving me a curated version of themselves.
The best shooting you ever had?
I’m attracted by anything I still haven’t done or experienced.
What inspires you?
I spend a lot of time observing light. I’m obsessed by how it shapes the reality that surrounds us, how it changes contours and alters colours in a way that is never fully predictable.
Who are your favourite photographers and why?
I genuinely admire the work of many photographers and it’s great to know that there’s so much beauty and taste out there. Photographers like Luigi Ghirri, Richard Avedon, Irving Penn, Alec Soth, Thomas Struth -among others- deeply influenced my taste and my photographic style.
Taking a look at your series Colori fronte mare and Acquaintance from the beach the first thing one notices is, that they are quiet, peaceful. A sun shade is a common thing at the beach, but pieces of photographic equipment are rather not. What is the idea of the Colori fronte mare series?
The photographic equipment is a sort of connection between the deep meaning of the pictures and the way I realised it. Colori fronte mare is a personal approach to an inner and endless emotion: the short-term solitude. In other words, when people remove themselves from the social context of their lives, they are better able to see how they’re shaped by that context.
There’s what seems to be an oil tanker on the horizon, is this part of the concept or simply coincidence?
When I saw the oil tanker, I realised that it could have been a good vanishing point of the photographs. So I kept it in the frame.
I totally trust in coincidence in photography and it’s part of my personal approach for every picture I take.
Sun shades are a familiar view at beaches but here it seems that they’ve been left behind? Is there a poetic notion, something that represents solitude? Or since the sun is not shining, how useless they are without it?
I’m totally into short-solitude in a certain way. I like to explore this kind of emotion and when I started Acquaintance from the beach I was walking alone at the end of the day on this beach in the south of Italy and I realised that a lot of people left their sun shades for the next day at the beach. I started to think how sun shades could feel the solitude after “being used”. I was looking at them, there they were, alone in front of the sea, and I dreamt how peaceful that moment could be for them. Finally alone just after a long stressful day.