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INTERVIEW

January 20, 2023

THE STREET LAMP

IN CONVERSATION WITH FABIO CATANZARO

Photography by Fabio Catanzaro
Interview by Melanie Meggs

Helping to keep the streets safe, the street lamps' presence usually goes unnoticed by many. Those tall metal constructions illuminate at night and watch over the landscape during the day. In his project THE STREET LAMP, Fabio Catanzaro focuses on the street lamp, predominant in the viewpoint, where its aesthetics outweighs its utility. And in the concept of the landscape, they are part of it, they are fully embedded in any urban context.

Fabio is a photographer born and raised in Venice, Italy. His artistic research is developed within the context of minimalism and urban details, borrowing his motifs from everyday life, transforming them into compositional frames of beauty and inspiration. We had the pleasure to interview Fabio where we talk to him about his photography journey so far.

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
-
LEONARDO DA VINCI

THE PICTORIAL LIST: Welcome to The List Fabio! What would you say first drew you to photography?

FABIO CATANZARO: I do my work mainly in and around Venice. I would look over the fashion images in the magazines and on websites. I used to look through magazines, not really interested in the articles but the pictures.

TPL: How would you describe your photography, and what would you say you are always trying to achieve artistically?

FC: I like to describe my approach and work as an attempt to compose aesthetically beautiful photographs. Photography opened up my eyes to the beauty of the world around me. My approach to photography began a long time ago during my travels and the only thing I've since discovered is that I have an insatiable inquisitive and observational mindset to things and subjects.

TPL: What inspired the concept for your project THE STREET LAMP? How did you approach producing the series? Is it an ongoing project?

FC: I realised I had a large collection of street lamp pictures of any shape and size...so why not make it a project?!

TPL: Where do you find your inspiration to create?

FC: While many artists and photographers can teach me, my vision is determined by my own inner drive to observe and capture the world in front of me, as it is. The pictures are the squares to really see what a thing looks like. their details, their shapes. I have always tried to see the beauty in everyday things.

TPL: What is the most rewarding part of being a photographer for you? What are some challenges that you have faced as a photographer?

FC: It’s all about the chance to capture unique moments and images. I have a great opportunity to take a fine look at the world around me.

TPL: Is it impossible for you not to be constantly on the lookout for a moment to be captured?

FC: Yes it is possible. That moment is when I sleep. Actually no, even in dreams I have something to capture. 🙂

TPL: How do you educate yourself to grow in your photography?

FC: Practice and looking at paintings, photographs in the books, at the museums, art and photo exhibitions. You have to constantly train your eye to see. As you gain experience, you may see more in the same scene, than you saw the first time.

TPL: How do you manage a work and photography balance?

FC: By focusing on one task at a time, be it editing, emails or returning phone calls. One thing at time is the key.

TPL: Do you have any favourite artists or photographers you would like to share with us, and the reason for their significance?

FC: Franco Fontana is my favourite photographer. The reason is mainly that he never dwells too much on the technical side of making pictures, but always digs deep into emotions, feelings, and learning how to see things.

TPL: What was the first camera you ever held in your hand, brought to eye, and released a shutter on? What is the camera you use now and your preferred focal length? Does the equipment you use help you in achieving your vision in your photography? What is on your wishlist?

FC: I remember it was a Polaroid at the age of 10. At the moment I use a Canon EOS550 with these two lenses – 75-300 mm and 18-200mm. No I don't think the equipment plays a part in achieving your vision, I think that a camera is just a device. It’s a well-trained eye that makes the photo unique. On my wishlist there is professional mirrorless.

TPL: Are there any special projects that you are currently working on that you would like to let everyone know about? What are some of your photography goals? Where do you hope to see yourself in five years?

FC: One of the projects that I would like to work on is making an album cover for a music artist and publishing my own book. This last one is in the process. So much has changed in just one year, it's hard to predict five. I like to keep my goals simple and real, I expect I’ll be into some genre of photography I haven’t tried yet like commercials or movies.

TPL: “When I am not out photographing, I (like to)…

FC: I do a lot of non-photography based activities that I find just as satisfying as photography. I’ll mention the most common: I read books, I spend time working through different activities such as fitness and staying healthy."