Without any doubt whatsoever, Italy is far behind numerous other European Countries when it comes to the subject of photographic art. The culture in Italy is such that contemporary arts in general lag behind, compared to the likes of U.K. France, Germany and Spain (to name but a few). However, when we talk of photographic art, the situation is much worse, with photography generally not being perceived as an artform by most members of the Italian public.
There are many reasons for this, not least of all education at an early age, and of course culture as a whole, with fine arts in Italy being very focused on historic tradition and the grand masters. This however, is something that the Country would like to change, and efforts are being made to some extent, and art galleries specialising in Fine Art Photography can be found, albeit limited in number. There is also also the Centre for International Photography (FORMA) based in Milan, which one could generally consider as comparable to the International Centre of Photography (ICP) in New York City.
This is a situation that to some extent also exists in Japan, although this said, Japanese people are huge fans of photography, simply once again, it has been slow to find recognition as an artform. That is why the Tokyo Photo art fair, first launched in September 2009, was a major step forward in this domain, and despite some difficulty in finding financial support for the initial show, the 2010 show has gone on to be a major international success.
It is my belief that Italy would benefit greatly from hosting its own international photographic art fair and that such a show could and would prove to be a major success. With this in-mind, I am developing a collaborative association between my one Company “Expo?Art”, and local Italian partners, with a view of establishing and hosting the very first “Fiera Internazionale d’Arte Fotografica” in Verona, Italy. Whilst at first glance Verona may not seem like an obvious choice, geographically it is excellently situated, sitting at approximately the half-way point between Milan and Venice, and with the advantage that the city itself is rich in culture and historical interest, notably the house and tomb of Juliet, from which Shakespeare’s famous play is derived. Aside from this, Verona also benefits from the presence of the Scavi Scaligeri International Photography Museum, which is uniquely housed underground, amidst the remains of Roman stone roads and mosaic floors.
At this juncture, much depends upon the vision and support of the Regione del Veneto, but already a suitable venue has been identified, situated very near to the Verona Exhibition Centre, all within easy reach of Verona’s international airport.
This project is still in the early stages at this moment, but is evolving quickly, so watch this space for further updates. Additionally, feel free to comment here-under, as your input is greatly appreciated, especially if you happen to be an art gallery specialising in photography, and even more so if you habitually participate in the numerous international art fairs. Alternatively, if you would like to e-mail me directly, please feel free to do so.