Rfotofolio is please to share the work and words of Anthony Pagliuca.
Please tell us about yourself.
I live in Boston. I am from a working class Italian background. For the past eighteen years I’ve worked at the Museum of Fine Arts, a great training ground. Photography has been an important part of my life since about the age of twelve. A neighbor discarded her old issues of Vogue and I was hooked! It was a different magazine back then and by the time I was in my teens I knew the amazing work of Irving Penn, Richard Avedon, etc. I have taken lots of classes at the school of the Museum of Fine Arts, but I’m primarily self-taught.
Which photographers and other artist work do admire?
The photographers who most influenced me are Joseph Sudek, Lyn Davis, Peter Hujar, Robert Mapplethorpe, and Jan Groover. The painters Giorgio Morandi and Wayne Thiebaud are also a big influence. I find the formality, and their concern with a kind of quiet beauty inspirational. Also I like Morandi’s continuos use of familiar objects. I re-visit themes quite often. One of the first still life’s that I admired and is with me always is Irving Penn’s frozen vegetables still life. It is elegant and slightly humorous. That can be hard to do.
If no one saw your work, would you still create it?
Absolutely! At the beginning few people saw my work. I try to photograph everyday. Working with still life is a meditative process that is essential for me.
Please tell us about your process and what the perfect day of photography is for you.
I have beautiful light in my home for most of the year. I had to use this light, so about a year and a half ago I made the decision to photograph something every morning.
I work fairly simply. I began with a Hasselblad medium format camera, but I’ve been shooting digitally for about ten years. Depending on the project, I use one of three digital cameras. I use an Epson 3800 printer, and make most of my prints on Epson cotton rag papers.
The perfect day of shooting for me is when I choose an object from my collection to photograph and the lighting and composition all work together. And if the end result is someone wanting this image, well that is the ultimate great day!
What challenges do you face as a photographer?
My biggest challenge is to not get intimidated by the beautiful images from the masters of photography that I have the pleasure to view everyday working in a museum with such an amazing photography collection. But ultimately they are a source of great pleasure and inspiration.
With the rapid changes in how people make and view a photograph how do you view this time in the history of photography?
I can completely understand that people miss the craft of analog photography. Is the scene real or a Photoshop creation? This explains why there is such a resurgence of 19th century processes. My hope is that with such a barrage of images that attention spans won’t get shorter.
How do you over come a creative block?
Working in a museum with so much beauty around me, creative blocks are something that I’ve learned to work through by just looking at all the inspiration surrounding me! Photographers tend to see the world cinematically and I’m always aware of lighting and compositions. It can be difficult walking with friends when your always looking at shapes and lighting!
Please tell us about an image (not your own) that has stayed with you overtime?
I first saw Richard Avedon’s image “Dovima with Elephants” I knew that a fashion image could do so much more than sell a dress. Being able to merge the two would be a challenge I would like to tackle.
Would you like to share any upcoming projects?
I’m presently working on a website. An upcoming project will be figure studies and portraits taken in morning light.
Thank you Anthony for sharing your work and your words.
Thank you Anthony for shareing your work and words.
To learn more about the work of Richard Avedon please visit The Richard Avedon Foundation.