A photographic journey in search of the very last bluesmen. The birth of a vocation for the Italian photographer.
A journey planned at great length, mindful of Walker Evans's model of social photography and with a passion for the blues. This was how Vincenzo Castella, then little more than twenty years of age, spent four months in the Southern United States in the area around the Mississippi River. His is an ethnographical study, in search of the very last bluesmen: he listens to them play and gathers their testimonies. At the same time, he discovers a “lesser” America, one of places and people that are generally overlooked. After having turned up in a drawer, in all their black-and-white glory, these photographs are now a delight for the gaze. A discovery and a return to the fascinating roots of America. These shots mark the birth of the vocation of one of the leading Italian photographers.
Vincenzo Castella (born 1952 in Naples, lives and works in Milan) is among the best-known Italian urban landscapephotographers. He lives in Milan, and has used colour photography since 1975. In 1998 he began his series on buildings and put forward hypothetical visual narratives on the complexity of the urban fabric and its interweaving nature, expressed through blown-up colour prints from large and extra-large format film. A far cry from any form of stylistic evolutionism, his work is bound up in the analysis of language, of existence and vision. His research includes images of Italian and European cities like Naples, Milan, Rouen, Caen, Le Havre, Helsinki and Berlin, as well as images of territories and sites like Ramallah and Jerusalem. His works have been displayed in galleries and museums in many countries around the world, and he has taken part in the Biennales of Art and Architecture of Venice on various occasions.