A journey through travel, nature, images, fashion, and a skillful use of light and color to create photographs that have the concrete transparency of the work of a great master of painting. This is the story of Ariannna Lago, an Italian photographer with a past in London, currently living in Los Angeles, who has masterfully represented the Peruffo Ink and Square collections, amidst the brutalist architecture of the Barbican Center and in a daylight studio in Hackney.
When do you feel you are expressing yourself in the most complete way?
With my friends of a lifetime.
If you had to choose a symbol to represent you what would it be?
This is a difficult question, because there is no symbol I like in the visual sense, and that at the same time is suited to express an idea I can relate to.
Overturning the rules: if you could, what rule would you like to break up?
Those that are not pliable, those that do not compromise and become an obstacle to common sense.
Your most successful project and your personal way of designing…
Probably the most successful project was the one for IIUVO in Sri Lanka, thanks to the confidence the brand had in me creating a content of my free interpretation, yet consistent with their products. My projects are always grounded in some kind of research – books, travels, music, and so on – that makes me just so inspired and so willing to create. Then, I make order in the inspirational material so that I can show it to other people, and to give directions to the members of my team. As a rule, I always try to allot a high percentage of energy to improvisation, and to creation on the moment. If the team members and the circumstances are in tune, there is no need to copy or replicate ideas: the best and most innovative things are always created spontaneously.
What is the material for you?
A physical or abstract object, becoming malleable to us, with which we create a relationship, and which becomes the artistic vessel responding to our ideas and impulses.
Looking at your shots, what strikes me most is the use of light and the transparency of images. What is this element for you, and how do you like to use it?
I think the concept of beauty in classical art has certainly influenced my way of seeing, and this is reflected in my use of light and transparency. I have an interest in the poetry of a natural and honest vision of things.
What is your relationship with Nature and how does it become part of your work?
Nature excites me, intrigues me, gives me peace and at the same time makes me vulnerable. It is a dimension that allows me to escape from reality and, as you can see, often accompanies my subjects or even becomes the subject itself.
A contemporary artist and a designer that you consider significant, and why.
Among artists, at the moment I greatly appreciate the way Jenny Holzer makes us reflect on the power and the use of the word with her public art installations. Among designers, I consider Grace Wales Bonner one of the most interesting in fashion design. I feel connected to her vision on an emotional level. I only happened once to cry at a fashion show, and it was at her Spirituals show in Belgravia in 2016. I remember that, when the show opened with the intro of a song to the beat of the violins, the first model came in and I shed a tear (smiles). I follow her work ever since, and I totally agree with the way she seeks a dialogue with other artists, such as musicians, who mirror his sensual and elegant way of seeing the world.
Arianna Lago, an Italian photographer who lives and works in London, finds inspiration in the observation of nature and in the search for beauty in everyday life. His style has developed by creating organic compositions in which he applies a strong sensitivity to color. Using mostly 35 mm, Arianna Lago’s shots convey a delicate fragility combined with an organic pictorial feeling.
– Interview by Federica Tattoli
Instagram Arianna Lago