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User / Expressionist Photographer / rosanero 37 /92
Pierre Gély-Fort / 984 items
"rosanero" the slideshow :


At the very beginning of the last century, the colours of Palermo changed and became “rosanero” (pink and black). This choice of colours, associated with the “bitter and the sweet”, reveal the city’s dual personality.

Trying to penetrate the flesh and soul of Palermo through the art of city portraiture proved to be just as delicate and perilous as the art of human portraiture. As for wanting to separate the bitter from the sweet, that seemed a priori impossible, given that the two facets are so inextricably intertwined.

This is why the photographs presented in this book seek to reflect the dual yet singular universe that emerges from these places, as well as their soul, in two stages:

• when taking the photograph, the focus is on the city, its appearance and reflections;
• during processing, the hue, saturation and luminosity of Palermo’s “rosa” (pinks) are used to illuminate the lowlights of each of the images, highlighting the bittersweet atmosphere of the shadows and the blacks.

The emotional side of Palermo shown here never yields to documentary or photojournalistic illusion.
It revels in a poetic narrative that is by turns raw and sophisticated and deliberately avoids fantasy and Mannerism in order to leave the sometimes brutal confrontation that occurs between the spectator and the city of Palermo as it is today.

Taken in isolation, most of the subjects photographed in Palermo do not seem to encapsulate the tragic or joyous dimension that the images reveal.
Perhaps Palermo is then La Commedia dell’Arte? Or rather, does it embody the Opera dei Pupi (a form of Sicilian puppet theatre that is inscribed on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list), with all its masks, archetypal characters and cult decor, anchored in our collective imagination?

Against the vain will to see an element of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde in the theatre-city, Palermo unflinchingly imposes its identity and singularity by confusing spectators and visitors by means of its dual personality, tinged with an essence of the unfinished or the incomplete.

From the darkest to the most dazzling facets, Palermo’s “rosanero” like the tangy taste of English sweets captivates us with delight ... inexorably and without fail!
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  • Taken: Oct 3, 2020
  • Uploaded: Aug 17, 2021
  • Updated: Oct 7, 2021