‘Photography is not just a recreation of reality – it’s a revelation’ – Paolo Roversi
Yesterday I mentioned that until recently I wasn’t all to aware of that many fashion photographers. One I now feel deserves a special mention, is Paolo Roversi. I was recently given a photograph of his to write a visual analysis essay on (though ironically it isn’t my favourite photograph of his), and when I started to delve deeper into the work he has produced, I fell more and more in love with the Italian photographer.
I was introduced to Roversi’s work through the romance trend present within fashion. This trend is something I have learnt to love, and loved to hate. Romance has been the main focus of most of my work during my first term at uni, and we were given photographers that capture the essence of our theme (other themes being active, purity and rebel). Through my research I realised that Roversi captures romance in a unique and interesting way.
As you will see throughout his work, Roversi is a fan of dark and muted tones, and this is somewhat subversive of the stereotypical idea of love. He doesn’t go for in your face pinks, instead opting for a more mature and somber colour palette – perhaps showing the serious side of love too. His photos are often intimate, and have a stripped down aesthetic, with my lecturer coining his style as ’embellished minimalism’, and this is what I love most about Roversi’s work.
In my essay I often talked of the connotations behind Roversi’s images and how I interpreted them, and I think this is what’s so special about the way he photographs the women in his pictures. You create the story. You can say that in the image Marine Vacth is a widow, grieving her late husband, or you could interpret it in a more cynical way – she could have just murdered her husband and is now playing the role of grieving widow in order to inherit all his riches. No one knows the true meaning behind the photo, but Roversi gives you the power to choose your own narrative.
Whilst I’m secretly glad to soon be seeing the back of the romance trend, Roversi is someone who’s work I’m going to continuously be eager to see. Perhaps the romance trend isn’t all florals and lace after all.
Until next time,
Images sourced from Alex De Brabant, Vogue and Marie Claire