SOUVENIRS D'ITALIE

Photographs of Raffaela Mariniello
Raffaela Mariniello is one of Italy’s best-known and internationally recognized photographers. Her artistic portfolio centers on social and cultural themes, particularly the transformation of the urban landscape and the relationship between man, the everyday objects of his life and the places he lives in. In spite of these themes, the human figure does not appear in Mariniello’s work. Through her lens, Italy, the favored destination of those on the Grand Tour as far back as the eighteenth century, has turned into a big entertainment park. She portends that major artistic sites and tourist destinations are being consumed, but not really understood.

Mariniello’s project “Souvenirs d’Italie” consists of photographs that deal with mass tourism and how it affects Italy’s most famous cities. Her artistically crafted and large-scale photographs capture the essence of Italian tourist destinations by revealing how their present and past histories intermingle. An encounter with these photographs that juxtapose the old with the new puts the viewer in the same position as the photographer – standing in the foreground of an historic landmark that has been infused with new life.

These nocturnal cityscapes transform urban spaces into images of extraordinary beauty and pathos. In each work, the artist shows how consumerism has deprived these sites of their original identities and how memorable architecture, steeped in history, becomes a backdrop for the bustling street life of the present day.

About Raffaeila Mariniello

Raffaela Mariniello was born in Naples, where she currently lives and works. In addition to Souvenirs d’Italie (2006-2011), her most noteworthy projects are Italia in Miniatura (included in this exhibition), Bagnoli (1991), Napoli veduta immaginaria (2001) and A study on Mediterranean harbor cities.

Mariniello’s works are found in public and private collections and have been included in important group exhibitions including the VIII Photography Biennale in Turin, the IX Architecture Biennale in Venice and the XII Quadrennial in Rome.

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