Alecio Ferrari

Alecio Ferrari


Mastering Color:

Insights into Alecio Ferrari's Photography.

For me, most of the time, taking a picture is a form of gesture. Like a painter that instinctively picks up a colour and follows a natural flow with the brush, without thinking much.

Alecio Ferrari

Alecio Ferrari is a Milan-based photographer whose practice is characterised by a hybrid of fervent aesthetics and narratives, developed from extensive experience in the visual arts. His work, which straddles the line between documentary and fine art, reflects a deep understanding of composition and lighting.

Having a BA in Graphic Design from Falmouth University in the UK and a Master's in Lens-Based Media from the Piet Zwart Institute in Rotterdam, his photography explores the dualism between nature and culture and the complex relationship humans have with nature. His images often combine real and imaginary elements, featuring both staged and spontaneous scenarios.

Hi Alecio, to kick off our conversation, how have you been?

Ciao Simone:) I'm pretty damn good! I'm writing these words while I'm travelling around Marseille and Les Calanques, marvellous! On a personal level, life lately has brought the right amount of fun and passion. Meeting new people and starting new relationships is giving me energy and driving me through a bright future.

How did your background in graphic design shape your transition into photography?

After high school I have decided to follow a BA in Graphic Design, however the act of taking/making pictures has always been my obsession, my main focus and origin of desire. I have been lucky enough to find out pretty soon my vocation, and without hesitation I dove into photography business and creation since a young age. Graphic design, nowadays, is a language part of our daily communication. Any printed or digital surface has something to deal with graphic signs; being able to understand those signs and methodologies is a great advantage for the work of the image maker.

Photography is a very powerful tool.

It can work as a passe-partout to easily get in touch with people.

Alecio Ferrari
Alecio Ferrari

Just a couple of glances at your photos are sufficient to grasp your adeptness with colour. Could you elaborate on the principles you adhere to when choosing colour palettes for your photographs?

It's not always easy to explain the work behind a photograph. For me, most of the time, taking a picture is a form of gesture. Like a painter that instinctively picks up a colour and follows a natural flow with the brush, without thinking much. Some of my creative choices are non-rational and based on my personal taste, influenced by the current experiences and personal evolution. Nonetheless, I have a precise set of visual rules that stick to me more than others. For instance, I'm drawn to create a body of work that contains both cold and warm colours at the same time. I like to mix up the blues with the oranges. While the reds and the greens have hardly entered my choice of colours.

How do you navigate the intersection between fashion, beauty and social consciousness in your photography?

Photography is a very powerful tool. It can work as a passe-partout to easily get in touch with people. You can use it to tell stores, to amaze your viewers or as an exchange tool. Every person that works with a camera should be aware of the impact of their images on our world, how much images influence our choices, thoughts and dreams. Taking photographs is an act of giving back.

During your time in Rotterdam, what experiences did you find most impactful, and how did they influence your artistic perspective? And what was it like transitioning back to Milan full time?

My life while I was living in Rotterdam was a bit crazy. I was attending a Master in Lens-Based Media there, receiving commissions from Paris and Milan, and at that time I had a long-distance relationship in Rome. That time was hectic and exciting, challenging and exhausting. Perhaps one of the most important lessons has been to take one thing at a time! Work less and work smarter :) On the other hand, Milano is surfing a very positive yet fragile wave. The creative scene is getting stronger and more diverse. A growing awareness of the difficulties of current times, the housing crisis and inefficient welfare state keeps our heads active and eyes open. For me Milano is more of a convenient base: its strategic position allows me to easily escape from the city, travelling either to the mountains or the sea in less than 2 hours.

Alecio Ferrari

Your recent shift towards design projects appears to signify a new beginning for you. Are you interested in further exploring this industry?

You mention it as a recent beginning but it’s already been 4 years since my first commission from Flos. And as you know, 4 years in photography is already a substantial time that can have a positive impact on your career. Since then, I have been lucky enough to encounter great designers and working with some of the most famous design firms, both Italian and international. I believe that the design world has just started a new wave of creative and visual explorations. It has been a much more conservative field compared to fashion, but during the latest years a more diverse public started to engage and be actively interested in the manufacture of objects and furniture. And there will be more ahead to come!

Looking back on your career, what were some of the most significant milestones that helped shape your artistic journey?

I don't think anything incredibly lucky ever happened to me, rather, I have had a pretty consistent growth, that step by step has supported my profession. Obviously, to be lucky you definitely need to set up a few goals and constantly work towards them, but with passion and determination, luck will kiss you a certain point!

What future projects or artistic directions are you eager to explore?

I'm currently working on a curatorial editorial work... Something new for me, challenging and exciting! But I can't say more. :)

I believe that the design world has just started a new wave of creative and visual explorations.

Alecio Ferrari
Alecio Ferrari

What upcoming art project do you plan to host next?

We have a more or less monthly program of invited artists staying with us for short residencies, where the purpose will not be production but rather exhibition, observation, and interaction. In parallel, we assess collaborations with other entities every day with the aim of supporting and enriching contemporary culture within the spaces of Villa Clea.

As we wrap up our discussion, I’d like to turn our focus to the future of Milan and specifically to the future of the neighborhood where “Villa Clea” is located. Given that spaces are constantly evolving to accommodate human needs, how do you foresee the future evolution of space in this area? Have you given any thought to potential developments in this regard?

We’ve gradually integrated into the urban fabric. During the construction, we lived in an apartment overlooking Villa Clea, and while Matteo directed and worked hands-on in the construction, Allina chatted with the neighbors. The first real opening was a neighborhood tea party with cakes cooked together. We’d like the moments when our private home opens up for exhibitions and events to be pretexts for sharing with a community, whether local or extended. In addition to Fondazione Prada and Fondazione Ica, other entities related to contemporary art are settling in the neighborhood, including some artists who are moving their studios here. Our hope is that the administrations support these transformations in a way that respects the people and realities already existing