Bio and artist statement
Luca Campigotto was born in Venice in 1962 and lives in Milan and New York City.
After earning a master’s degree in modern history with a thesis on the era of great geographical discoveries, he has specialized in the photography of landscapes and architecture, linked to the theme of travel.
He has conducted research projects on Venice, Rome, Naples, London, New York, Chicago, the route of the Casbahs in Morocco, Angkor in Cambodia, the desert of Atacama in Chile, India, Patagonia, Easter Island, China, Yemen, Iceland, Iran, and Lapland.
He has always pursued an interest in writing. In 2005 the influential Italian literary magazine Nuovi Argomenti published a selection of his pictures and poetry.
He is the author of the Epson 2014 calendar and the GEO-New York 2016 calendar.
He has exhibited at:
Mois de la Photo and MEP, Paris; Somerset House, London; Galleria Gottardo, Lugano; IVAM, Valencia; The Art Museum, Miami; The Warehouse, Miami; CCA, Montreal; MOCA, Shangai; Venice Biennale (1997, 2000, 2011), Museo Fortuny, Dogi Palace, Venice; MAXXI, MACRO, Museo del Vittoriano, Istituto Nazionale della Grafica, and Festival della Fotografia, Rome; Museo della Scienza e della Tecnica, Milan; MART, Rovereto.
Iconic China, Damiani, Bologna 2017
Les régles de la vision, Italian Culture Institute of Paris, 2016
Rome, FMR UTET, Bologna 2015
Teatri di guerra – Theatres of War, Silvana, Milano 2014
Gotham City, Damiani Editore, Bologna 2012
50+1, Alinari-24Ore, Milano 2012
My Wild Places, Hatje Cantz, Ostfildern 2010
The Stones of Cairo, Peliti Associati, Rome 2007
VenicExposed, Contrasto, Rome / Thames&Hudson, London / La Martinière, Paris 2006
Sguardi gardesani, Nicolodi, Trento 2004
L’Arsenale di Venezia, Marsilio, Venice 2000
Fuori di casa, Imagina, Venice 1998
Molino Stucky, Marsilio, Venice 1998
Venetia Obscura, Peliti Associati, Rome / Dewi Lewis, Stockport / Marval, Paris 1995
Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris
Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal
The Progressive Collection, Cleveland
The Margulies Collection at the Warehouse, Miami
The Sagamore Collection, Miami
The Andrew J. Hall Collection, Southport CT
The Raymond Learsy Art Collection, New York
MAXXI, Museum of Contemporary Arts, Rome
Istituto Nazionale della Grafica, Rome
Unicredit Bank Collection, Milan
Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin
Museo Palazzo Fortuny, Venice
Museo d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Varese
Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio, Modena
Galleria Civica, Modena
Museo della Fotografia, Cinisello Balsamo
Museo Civico, Riva del Garda
“Vision has the power to create our knowledge and it orients our memory. As a photographer, my fate is to remain forever hostage to my own gaze. Destined to the mission of memory, to the circular motion of nostalgia.”
"Campigotto slows the process of photographing down by using large-format digital backs (as he used to use large-format film cameras) and lets his apparatus gather as much information as possible. He seeks to approach that other, older temporal velocity perhaps in the hope that a wider trace of time might be arrested in his images and that this trace can stand as a fuller testimony to what has been.
The landscape Campigotto shows us is hardly romantic. The world is leached of color, only gray, white, pale blue and silver – with patches of green to remind viewers that life is still possible. It is a landscape that cannot be domesticated by aesthetics or colonized for the picturesque.... Campigotto seeks the primal, the prelinguistic, a territory beyond or before signification. “The strength of the sublime remains beyond any rhetoric,” he has remarked. “The eye gets lost searching distance, contemplating what was made to be stronger than us."
Lyle Rexer on Theatres of War
"Neither a journalist nor a story teller, Campigotto is, in fact, a scene shaper. He makes no claims to this being an encyclopedic project and works instinctively, as he has described it, to photograph “the container of events”.
Taken together, the images in this book suggest that as Campigotto surveys New York, he, too, sees it as a succession of theatrical spaces or movie sets.
The possibility for narrative that is embedded in these photographs is reinforced by the fact that Campigotto often works at night when, he says, “the outcome is unpredictable. The lights, the contrasts, the colors are more interpretive... Night makes evocation more plausible”. And so does the post-production work Campigotto subsequently does on the images themselves. After they are shot, he carefully rebuilds them, recalibrating their color saturation so that the subtlest details that would have disappeared in the shadows begin to assert themselves. Once they do, something odd and magical is set in motion. The not-quite-naturalistic palette of these images makes the atmosphere they depict feel immersive. Coupling the camera’s forensic gaze with a decidedly romantic sensibility, Campigotto creates extraordinary and haunting photographs in which the present and the past, and desire and nostalgia coexist."
Marvin Heiferman on Gotham City