The ‘Luisi' surname comes from her husband, Fabio, who is the Principal Conductor at the Metropolitan Opera, which explains why she now spends a good amount of time in the Big Apple. However, she also has a home in Camogli, a small town on the Ligurian coast, not far from Portofino. These contrasts in her life and background are reflected in her photography which ranges from intimate pictures of pearls nestling on the sea bed, to the flashy neon lights of Broadway. It is artificial light which attracted her as a subject for her latest show, which opens 28 February in New York and is called: “Glowing Night, Artificial Lights”.
Luisi's photographs are, as she says in the blurb,
… concerned exclusively with the perception of light in the darkness, with warmth and the cold. Darkness combined with movement enables undreamt-of associations. The elements melt into one, earth become water, air becomes fire.
Just a superficial glance at her images proves her point: magic, mysterious, like the night itself.
The photos were taken in New York, Oslo, Tokyo, Vienna, Paris and Rome. At 3 a.m.!
The images are undefined, impressionistic, using long exposures to allow the dim to become bright:
Light floods through the lens of the objective for minutes, leaving its trace. That's all. Each and every observer sees it differently.
Barbara Luisi uses infra-red and colour-reversal techniques to add to the curiosity of these works, but the force comes from the original image captured at the depth of night when most people are tucked up in their beds. Which leads us nicely to the fact that the exhibition is tied in with the Cassina bed launch at their showroom at 151 Wooster Street, New York City. And the designer of these four new beds? None other than Rodolfo Dordoni, Piero Lissoni, and Philippe Starck.
The photo exhibition runs until May 1st.
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano') about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman's Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia' column for Dancing Times magazine.