ALESSANDRO DE LEO (IT)
Alessandro De Leo’s heavily contrasting black and white photos feature traces of faces and bodies. The subjects appear to be in motion, defying the human eye and emphasizing the constant changing of the matter.
Alessandro De Leo is a photographer based in Italy. Recently, he combined his passion for art with his profession, becoming a teacher of digital post production. De Leo’s heavily contrasting black and white pictures feature traces of faces and bodies. The subjects appear to be in motion, defying the human eye and emphasizing the constant changing of the matter.
In De Leo’s pictures black and white are like spaces inhabited by the bodies, which move freely leaving traces of their passage. White is the light that makes the figures visible and it is in contrast with the black, the shadow, which tends to hide the matter. White is therefore compared to the flash of a camera which enlightens the scene captured by the photographer.
There is more than one heavy contrast in De Leo’s photographs. Black and white, light and shadow, what is shown and what is hidden are the elements in contrast in the Italian photographer’s pictures. In each contrast the elements are like voices in a continuous dialogue, an endless pattern of calls and responses which never actually gets to a final point.
These elements are in anthesis with each other but also collaborate to create a flow and a strong energy in the images which yet result quiet and silent. De Leo’s pictures are not traditional portraits. The viewer might feel unsettled in front of De Leo’s photographs, since those faces and bodies and their expressions are not recognisable. However, it is not interesting anymore for the viewer to know who is the subject of the portrait, if it is a man or a woman and what are its expressions and thoughts. It is more a matter of the traces left by the figure and its motion, in the exact moment when all is captured by the light. These images depict a matter in constant change and most of all, they enhance the human’s elusive and rapid approach to life. The pictures show how very often the human eye does not really stop on the objects, preferring to see things and not to observe them. The camera takes over for the human eye, not capturing the matter but what is left of it: luminous trails or shadows. It might be seen in De Leo’s works something deeper. They seem to be the evidence that very often we are not able to see things for how they really are and, more profoundly, they show a sense of incommunicability and the impossibility for the human being to be deeply understood.