Summer is over, but don’t worry, with this interview we will make you feel still on holiday.
This month What Italy Is meets Rosella Degori, originally from Oppido Mamertina, a small town in the province of Reggio Calabria and now in London, where she deals with photography and social media. Rosella moved to England to follow her obsession with the British pop culture and to make some of her greatest passions a real work. She defines herself as a fan of films, TV series and anything to do with visual arts.
Rosella recommends you to read her interview by listening to “Youth Against Fascism” by Sonic Youth.
You are Italian but you live in London, how’s life there?
Crazy and very exciting – I’m lucky enough to work in an extremely creative environment, where it’s difficult to get bored (there is no time to do it!); in addition, leaving aside the work, the city offers a lot of opportunity for the leisure time – maybe too much.
What are the things that you miss the most about Italy?
The unparalleled beauty of our country – natural, architectural, artistic – and the light: the sky here in England is always grey or off-white, and the British architecture doesn’t help to mitigate this sense of ‘darkness’, with the facades of houses and palaces in brown bricks and the public spaces interiors always very dark.
What do you like to photograph when you’re in London and what when you’re in Italy?
In London, I love to capture anything to do with music and art – performances, concerts, installations, exhibitions, clubs, record stores, studios – and I have a lot of fun when I have the chance to sneak into the houses of artists and creatives to photograph their interiors.
Regarding Italy, I think everything: architecture, urban spaces, galleries, natural landscapes. I have to say that since I live in London, I appreciate a lot more the beauty of our country and as a result, I feel much more inspired also from a photographic point of view.
Your Instagram feed tells about your travels and about London city, through elegant shots and with a refined aesthetic taste, but what is your favorite place?
My favorite places are definitely more than one: Paris, because it embodies a certain aesthetic and cultural imaginary that I feel very personal (I’ve always had a weakness for everything that is French – from fashion to cinema, art, literature and design).
Athens, the birthplace of our civilization. Every time I go there, I feel a strong sense of belonging, also because of its Mediterranean character. And its light is amazing!
Pisa and Tuscany, where I lived for a few years during the university and where my’ sentimental education’ was consolidated, culturally speaking.
Catania, for its Mediterranean audacity, the warm tones, the streets, the Etna view and, of course, for the sea and the food. I always try to come back when I have time.
Reggio Calabria, my hometown, with its unbelievable landscapes, even if they are undervalued, and finally, London, my adoptive city, the one that I feel closer, together with Paris and to my interests.
How should be a photo to be beautiful for you?
Generally speaking (not about Instagram, which is a different world), a beautiful photo must communicate the urgency of the moment in which it was taken. It must also be imperfect, natural (except for fashion and architecture photography, for example), spontaneous,’dirty’ and it must subvert the rules: the aesthetic perfection that ends in itself is something that bores me to death. It must overwhelm me with the power of a state of mind.
What are your favorite subjects?
Architecture, interiors, portraits, street photography.
Who inspires you, who is the photographer/artist you admire most?
On Instagram Chris Connolly, a dear friend and maybe the person who most influenced my way of looking at things. Then I admire Eliot Lee Hazel with her beautiful portraits, Romain Laprade for his French style, Steph Wilson for the ability to create beautiful and surreal worlds with her fashion photos, and then Nan Goldin, Nick Knight, Larry Clark and Guy Bourdin.
What do you do when you don’t take pictures?
Normal things like going to the cinema, visiting museums and galleries, traveling, going to concerts and DJ sets, reading, eating a lot of food with my friends.
Instagram: how do you use it, what do you like most and least about this platform.
Thanks to Instagram I met fabulous people, some of whom I can consider real friends. The community side is the one I appreciate the most. What I don’t like, however, is the fact that from a creative point of view there is an ongoing general flattening of the contents in favor of the engagement, and that everyone claims to have an authoritative voice within the community.
If I asked you to recommend us an Italian place to photograph, what would you answer?
The Catania fish market, for the extraordinary humanity coming and going that animates it and the games of light and shadows projected in the street and on the facades of the beautiful palaces of the center.
What is Italy for you, out of the commonplace?