Carlo Vannini

archivio di luce


When shooting artistic objects with a camera, a number of technical, ideological and disciplinary issues arise. These objects are, by their very nature, bearers of complex strategies of meaning, that in turn have to translate into images able to convey that meaning back to us through the choice of light, background, framing and detail.

Vannini’s choice has always been to hold the very nature of the photographed objects in the highest regard. His photography thus aims at being authentic when dealing with their symbolic, poetic and narrative aspects, both seen as whole and as singularities of composing elements: shape, color, realization and more. In order to achieve this, he does not hesitate in pushing our perception of the object, by using a series of sophisticated techniques to manipulate his images: there is no natural light, nor classic artificial lamps and flashes anymore; he uses absolute light, a light of the mind, the exact light required to expose their deepest authenticity. These photographic footprints are traces of reality imperfection; the object becomes an image, the image becomes a sight.

In the framework of such project, Vannini’s immense archive offers a research perspective on the Galleria Parmeggiani catalogue: this is an archive of sights; his photographs, multiplied, deached from any reference of space, might represent the same object, but they are never the same image.

Carlo Vannini was born in Reggio Emilia in 1956; he was exposed to artistic tools early on, thanks to an uncle, a painter and his father, a decorator.
After a short amateur experience, he developed a strong passion for the professional reproduction of works of art. This took him to an intense experience in documenting restoration works, which allowed him to gradually acquire several photographic techniques such as using ultraviolet, infrared, raking, transmitted and mirroring lights.
His approach is highly technical in nature, focused as he is in reproducing the tones of painted colors, sculptured materials and contemporary art. He prefers on-going collaborations with artists, as these offer better opportunities to understand the objects of his work.

Besides his professional work, he uses his free time for personal photos that allow him to express himself freely, often exploring empty churches, abandoned buildings, cemeteries: places where he can rediscover traces of what used to be, of previous existence.
Since 1983, he has created illustrations for Still Life catalogs and adverisement, and he is recognized as one of the major art photographers in Italy. From December 2015 until May 2016 he shot a photographic campaign in the Sistine Chapel, in giga pixels 1:1.
He teaches Cultural Heritage Photography at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna

Galleria Parmeggiani – 3pm
Archivi di luce
Guided tour with Carlo Vannini


MAY 12
Galleria Parmeggiani – 6.30pm
La Sistina come non si è mai vista. I segreti della Cappella Sistina svelati in gigapixel
book presentation with the photographer Carlo Vannini and with Monsignor Tiziano Ghirelli and Gianni Grandi

Exhibition Venue

Galleria Parmeggiani
corso Cairoli, 2
42121 Reggio Emilia


Opening Hours

inaugural days
May 5 › 7am-11pm
May 6 and 7 › 10am-11pm
from May 12 to July 9
Saturday and Sunday
10am-1pm / 4pm-7pm
special opening
June 2 › 10am-11pm

Galleria Parmeggiani