By looking at these images by photographer David. E Fantoni the famous portrait of Cardinal Filippo Archinto by Tiziano comes to mind (1558, today at Philadelphia Museum). The Renaissance artist portrays with great virtuosity the cardinal partially covered by a semi-transparent veil, and the face rather than shown is perceived through the silky layer. The body is there, but the personality is not revealed to the viewer and something of the portrait remains untold: that is the identity itself of the character. His innermost nature draws back and hides, words are unspoken.
The Untold is the title of the photography exhibition by Fantoni. The photographs are portraits of photographs filtered by a canvas. The result, extremely interesting and peculiar, is as if the images were taken through a curtain, blurred out by the weave of the fabric. The relationship between the subject portrayed and the viewer is not revealed immediately but is separated by a screen that creates a hiatus (also in time, as some of the photographs are quite old) between the portrayed photo and the photographic snap shot. But not only this, the memory, in fact, screens out and falsifies the persona as well. Rather than showing directly, the photograph lets you grasp things: an eye that is raving for a contact, a mouth that yarns for words to come out, a body that aims at expressing itself. The canvas that appears to be like a layer between the portrayed and the viewer, between the persona and the photographer, ultimately becomes a communication barrier; a stuttering effort to talk; the illusion of a human contact that is merely appearance, a dialogue that is doomed to remain superficial. An obstacle, a mask, crosses out the real encounter; the true contact the clear image, is but an illusion.
Persons like sketched bodies, kaleidoscope of faces that stroke our sight, loose cannon in the maelstrom of memory: words, glances and gestures are lost like 'teardrops in the rain'; they all become foggy, confused within the mind and the memory. The result, from a formal point of view, is of extreme refinement, like the dance of an acrobat that swings between reality and abstraction in an undecided stylistic figure yet precisely, flawlessly catching the unexpressed intention. Fantoni captures with deep sensitivity, this incommunicability of human relations, this loss of sincerity, this screaming silence of the soul, alienated behind the veil of the face, under the surface of the body. The identity, the persona remains unknown, an ungraspable latent mystery.
'Who are you' the answer is but in a foggy silent, image.
David. E Fantoni is an Italian photo artist based in Tokyo.
Further info at: www.davidefantoni.com
For further info or images contact: email@example.com +447792126195