F-Stop Magazine: How did you first become involved in photography and what led to you working in this medium as an artist?
Valentina Piccinni: I started taking pictures when I was 14, but doggedly in the last six or seven years. For a long time I have been fascinated by the theme of the self-portrait. I spent a lot of time “looking” for something that went beyond a mere self-representative image. At the same time I graduated in Art Criticism, examining in depth the same concept. Just this dual involvement, practical and theoretical, in the world of photography and self-portraiture, has prevented me from throwing myself prematurely in the field of fine art as an author. The direction I had chosen was the opposite. I’ve preferred to take care of the works of others, but all at once, I had to resolve this conflict of interest, starting to decline my playing photography in several ways. So I kept apart the theories, and I have “become” a photographer.
F-Stop: Your project “The black page” feels intense and personal and at times humorous, what is the project about and what led you to creating it?
VP: The idea behind this project is to try to make the closeness with loved ones, things, places, and myself. Sometimes the irony makes its way in everyday life, sometimes the beauty or melancholy …
There are no rules. Only immediacy.
For me this project is the fusion between the years spent to create self-portraits and my current involvement in documentary photography.
F-Stop: Can you discuss your process for making these images?
VP: The process is simple. A point and shoot camera always available. I take what makes me sign.
F-Stop: What do you hope people see or feel or perhaps learn when they look at your photographs?
VP: I hope that these photographs may be perceived as authentic. I hope that the observer can feel impressed by the strength or strangeness of shot, which are the same of anyone’s life.
F-Stop: Do you have a favorite image in this series? If so, which one and why is it the image that speaks to you most?
VP: I prefer the whole work rather than a single photo. I think they give each other strength. “The black page” is a collection of moments of my life, a sort of diary in progress, and for this reason I can’t say to prefer a single image. There is an emotional time, a vital flow that holds together these pictures.
F-Stop: What are you working on now?
VP: I continue to work on this project, which is always in flux. At the same time I work on documentary photography. I have just returned from a very special place … where money, video games, shops, bars, smart phone do not exist. A small community of three hundred people where communism and catholic faith living together for create an utopia.
F-Stop: What photographers or other artists inspire you?
VP: I studied art history for almost ten years … I guess that this left some suggestion in my eyes. As to photography, I like the pictures that amaze me.
Regardless of the individual author – I should make a long list – I prefer those who dare.
For more of Valentina Piccinni’s work: cargocollective.com/valentinapiccinni