2nd place at Professional Fine Art category, International Photography Award 2016.
The project Phantasmagorical was born in 2015. An abundance of food accessible to everyone. An idyllic world where food never founders but is created with the power of imagination.
A world of dreamers who contemplate the unlikely beauty and recognize the strength of the rough sea in waves of beer, or where a velvety cabbage leaf takes the form of a girl’s cap. Inspired by the works by Magritte, De Chirico and the artistic movement of Lorenzo Alessandri, Patrizia Piga tries to convey the power of surreal thought through her photographs. A reflection that breaks the rules and, with subtle irony, knocks down the barriers of a world that seems so established, traditional, without surprises… And brings a spark to it!
She is attracted by the Surrealist pictures she has seen in recent years. Inspired by them, together with her experience as a food photographer working in advertising for more than 20 years, the idea of building landscapes with food has emerged. In her vision, proportions are almost completely distorted and nothing corresponds to our perception of the experience. In this way a lemon zest becomes as big as an umbrella, watermelon becomes a refreshing summertime pool and clothes hanging in the sun are the list of dinner ingredients. All seasoned with some recollection of her reading as a child. Far from being an escape from reality, but rather, an invitation to create our own world. This is Patrizia’s universe, a dimension in which one can draw, collect, care for, contemplate. Everything is outside and inside of us.
The idea is of a world where it’s no longer necessary to work in order to live. The only need is to live as food already exists in the landscape. Most likely this provokes strange moral reactions. However, Patrizia finds the courage to express all of this with her imagination. If it is no longer necessary to work, then one can dedicate him/herself to what one likes to do. If one no longer needs to elbow one’s way in order to prove oneself or make money, then there is peace and joy.
Patrizia has decided to insert a human figure, herself, in the work, even if she’s not always recognizable. She has chosen the figure because during all these years of commercial photography she felt pushed aside. Nobody knows that numerous photos seen on products sold at the supermarket are from her studio. Furthermore, she wanted to assert her identity, that which is true, retrieved from her childhood when nobody could prohibit her from dreaming and building imaginary worlds.
“What makes me happy is seeing people’s expressions go from neutral or worried to ones of surprise or joy or wonderment and amusement,” declares the photographer. “I believe that in all these years, my photos at the supermarket have not had this same effect. I say this with all due respect for the work which has taught me so much, first and foremost, the massive use of Photoshop.”
As a child Patrizia drew a lot. She had a true talent for drawing, a real flare for it. Then her studies shifted this a bit. Above all, there was an absurd conditioning that swayed her thinking, along with those untouchable credos like the belief that one cannot live from one’s art.
These photos are directed towards adults as well as children, who are very attracted to them. Hopefully adults may reclaim their ability to dream, something almost all have lost and, yet, instead it is that which saves us from every situation because it’s truly thanks to dreaming that we fulfil ourselves.
The construction of these images is rather complex. Every element that makes up each composition has been photographed individually, on set, with artificial lighting. But even before the studio there is the idea that is sketched in pencil on paper. The atmosphere that springs forth has already been imagined and remains in mind during the whole working process. In this way every photographed element already has its correct light and shadows. Then there is the editing in Photoshop, where all the elements are assembled and, little by little, the landscape emerges. All of this requires hours of work, sometimes weeks. Step by step the magic is revealed, just how it had been envisioned in her mind. [Official Website]