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FRANCESCO MERLINI

VALPARAISO

 TRIPTYK  12PM - 10PM 

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For many years I have tried to narrate a valley where I was born and where I’ve spent a lot of time since when I was a child even if I grew up in a big city like Milano. This valley is a place that I loved and hated, a place I’m tied to by an emotional link that involves me. My father passed away when I was fifteen and my mother disappeared few years ago.

At a certain point I decided to put aside any kind of documentary approach with the awareness that I have never been interested in the beauty of natural scenery or in the objective reality of this place. I was interested in giving a voice to a place that changes, protects and destroys people, through its existence in our lives.

In my work, memories of the time spent in this valley are mixed with dreams, nightmares and visions that my mind has set in this familiar and at the same time distant place, drawing on a sort of magical realism.

In a time where people look at photographs faster and faster, I decided to use a photographic language that would induce the observer to linger, to move closer and to squint in order to get used to the darkness of these iridescent images that conceal a personal journey towards the reckoning with this valley.

The project has been previously exhibited at Foto Forum gallery in Bolzano, at the European Photography Festival in Reggio Emilia, in Japan at the Mt. Rokko International Photo Festival in Kobe, at the Noorderlicht Photofestival in Heerenveen in the Netherlands and at the Radar Festival in Trani.

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Francesco was born in Aosta in 1986 and he’s based in Milan. After a bachelor's degree in industrial design at the Politecnico University of Milan, he completely devoted himself to photography and now he works mainly on personal long-term projects, always looking for a point of contact between his documentary background and a strong interest in metaphors and symbolism.


In 2016 he was selected by the British Journal of Photography in order to be part of “The Talent Issue: Ones to Watch" and in 2020 Francesco was shortlisted for the Prix HSBC pour la Photographie”. In 2021 he's been one of the nominees for the Leica Oskar Barnack Award.
His pictures have been published in important magazines and newspapers worldwide including Washington Post, Financial Times, Le Monde and many others while his projects have been featured on renowned photography platforms such as American Suburb X and Time Lightbox. 
Francesco’s first book “The Flood”, published by Void, has been released in 2021.

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