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Matteo Casilli – MUSICIAN Author’s Portraits

Matteo Casilli - la copertina di Musician
2 min.

Matteo Casilli is a young Roman photographer who has done something so simple that no one had thought of before: put the characters of the Italian music scene against the wall, get a camera and take portraits in black and white (261 of them!) to then make a book, beautiful, which is called “Musician

by Andrea Luccioli

Then those from Marvis Labl arrived, discographic label and artistic laboratory, who thought well to print Matteo’s project. It seems that this thing is working. It has certainly worked on the social networks, where already after the first shot, the portraits by Matteo Casilli had become cult. He himself told about it to Formato Ridotto Live in Foligno where he presented his book and let himself be interviewed.

Short bio: Matteo Casilli has worked seriously as a photographer for 14 years, he took up his first camera at 5, he does not have saints in paradise (he maintains) usually he does street photography and is a fake shy. With this story of homemade portraits, he has lined up incredible names: from Giorgio Canali to Tommaso Paradiso of Thegiornalisti from Dente to Ron, from I Ministri to Zen Circus, from Levante to Motta up to Ennio Morricone. In conclusion the exact narration of Italian music.

Where does the idea of Musician come from?
«I was lucky. The project was born by chance. A couple of years ago, in August, I had a party at my house. Among the guests there was a musician. I didn’t do anything other than put up a small set, take some shots and put the photos on Facebook. The shot got many likes and a few days after I repeated the this with Gabriele from Joe’s Victor. He too put the photo on Facebook and it went viral».

And then?
«I began to take photos with the artists of the Indie Roman scene because it is the scene where I spend my time, I finished the project taking pictures at the First of May concert. In the middle there were articles of Rockit, Rolling Stones and so on. I was a guest of Silvia Boschero on Stereonotte at RadioUno, so, it’s been quite the trip».

In the past you have worked with Terry Richardson, right?
«Yes. I was in New York, I met him on the road and I stopped him. I told him that I admired his work. He said to me: have you ever been an assistant for a shooting? Come work for me because I’m missing an assistant. I obviously went and so I did three shooting with him».

Let’s talk about Musician, what technique did you use?
«Black and white, 50mm lens with flash. I know, it is a little bit of an opportunist choice (he laughs, editor’s note). I like color, but this project was born this way and so it went ahead this way. I have to say that those who have seen the pictures made me notice that black and white, in some way make the photos timeless».

Was it easy to engage the artists?
«Not at all. Bringing people home was very difficult. Friends like Tommaso from Thegiornalisti gave me a huge hand. Then when it got out and the photos went viral, it was simpler. Everyone wanted to have one of my shots. Certainly I received some no’s and in many cases I had to move, but in the end the project is here and I think that its successo is from the fact that it is a story of a period, of a scene. It is the state of the art of Italian music».

The most difficult to photograph?
«Motta, because the picture on the cover of his disc is pratically the same as my photo! ».

What did the musicians that you met give you?
«Their cd! (he laughs again, editor’s note). I’m joking. Very beautiful friendships and acquaintances were begun. Thanks to this project I photographed Ennio Morricone and I even went to his house to show him the pictures. And then I had the luck to photograph Fausto Mesolella of Avion Travel, who two weeks later died. Musician, besides my family, is dedicated to him».

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