AMANDO PIAVANO – I encountered Amando one dark evening as I was locking up. He looked like he wanted to come in and to be honest I was a bit put off by his demeanour – he looked like he’d given up on life and I couldn’t think what he’d find of interest in the shop. I told him I was going but I’d be back the next morning at 9. I never expected to see him again.
The next morning he was waiting. He got there before me. As far as I could tell he may have been there all night. My heart went out to him and I invited him in. Immediately I realised that there was something different about him – something I had not detected the night before. He told me his story (avionics electrical engineer from Milan). He told me he now travels somewhere every week and that his dog ate his glasses (you can see this if you look closely at the portrait).
Perhaps what I perceived in Amando initially was something I was scared of for myself. In choosing the shot I liked the best I felt most right about showing one of him steadily looking in to the camera – unafraid and far from defeated by life.
As the series continues I will expand on this psychological theory of portraiture and how we, the viewers, engage with it.
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