As I took the project forward, I wanted my shadows to be projected on natural surfaces and not in an urban environment. Along with this, a natural landscape was crucial to the entire setting. I wanted to give depth to my shadows with things like soil, tree bark, rocks, plants and so on. In a way, I wanted to add a tactile dimension to the shadow. The shadow needed its own personality.

—Giacomo Brunelli

Whilst the self portrait has fascinated artists since the very earliest periods, the use of the shadow in such works is almost exclusively owned by the photographic medium. In his “Self Portraits” series, Giacomo Brunelli carefully constructs his photographs so his shadow becomes an integrated element of the landscape. With the considered interaction between the photographer and the landscape, Brunelli takes this form of portraiture to a new level, as he questions his own understanding and place in the natural landscape. Ultimately, Brunelli leaves no barrier between “himself” and the environment with which he chooses to interact, thereby transforming his shadow—and his presence—into an essential part of the landscape that he captures.

—Wayne Ford

note: This week, Giacomo Brunelli is the guest photographer on LensCulture’s Instagram feed! Brunelli will be posting highlights of his other (black and white) series on Instagram. It’s powerful, inspirational work—be sure to check it out!

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