Photography Mino Pasqualone’s dreamlike and timeless shots

Mino Pasqualone’s dreamlike and timeless shots

Giulia Guido

Living on the edge between reality and dream must be like looking at Mino Pasqualone‘s photographs.

Mino Pasqualone, a young man from Molise, has landed in the world of photography passing first of all through design and interior design. The camera is the medium through which Mino tells himself and gives life to intimate scenarios and surreal moments.

Some shots by Mino Pasqualone will be exhibited for Ph.ocus – About Photography in the “Please, Stay Home” section. For the occasion, we asked him a few questions and had some aspects of his photography told in detail.

Don’t miss the interview below!

How did you approach photography and what was the path that led you to where you are now?

The passion for photography was born in times too far away to have a vivid memory of it. I was probably 6 years old when the first Polaroid was given to me. My career, however, started later, in 2016, after completing my studies and obtaining a degree in Interior Design. I started working as a freelance designer and at the same time, I collaborated on advertising campaigns as photography has always been an essential means to communicate my projects in the best possible way. From that moment on, making portraits of friends and acquaintances and starting to tell stories through images on my social channels, I found a great appreciation from the public that, within just a year, led me to change course, to enroll in a master’s degree in fashion photography and to turn what was a passion into a full-time job. 

What is photography to you and what do you want to tell with your shots?

Photography for me is what has no name and is exactly at the center between reality and dream. I find that photography is the best way to convey feelings, emotions, moods, not only of the subjects portrayed, but above all personal, of the person behind the lens. My photographs always tell about my life, through fictitious stories and characters, often out of time, in dreamlike dimensions.

They talk about my fears, they talk about my story, about love, but also about happiness. The locations and props play an essential role in my stories, in fact they are chosen on the basis of what they convey to me, even before the aesthetics, and often on the basis of the red thread that binds me to them.

Often, looking at your photographs, we have the feeling of spying on subjects immersed in their intimacy. How does the shot happen?

I believe that the success of a photograph is dictated by the intimacy that must necessarily be established between the photographer and the photographer. One of my prerogatives is to meet my models several times before the shoot, to get to know them, to understand better their life, their dramas, their weaknesses, their identity.

Everything that transpires from my photographs is true, it has no filters, it is simply the rendering in images of what the subjects feel in that precise instant, without being influenced by my presence. My photographic stories are essentially the encounter of two stories: mine and the one of those who pose for me.

From a personal and work point of view, how did you experience the lockdown period? How is it possible to find inspiration by being isolated for so long?

Last spring’s lockdown period was really sad. Canceled trips, closed exhibitions, work postponed until who knows what date.

I was very rehearsed and I still am today, but I still had to make sure that the depression didn’t take over. The inspiration, in certain moments, comes from one’s own passions, from those thoughts and desires that in other moments we could never have realized. Those projects that you often keep aside, but always think about and never have time to dedicate to. My personal project carried out during the months of isolation was born just like that. Being alone and not having models available, I had to draw on what I never thought I would use as a subject: myself.

So a series was born, far from my standards, but full of meaning. A series that led me to recreate almost all of Caravaggio’s canvases through photography (with an average of one every two days), but in which the only subject is me. It may seem like a celebration to my ego, but it is not. Instead, it is a project dictated by constriction to isolation and the desire to escape and not to think about the ongoing health emergency. After a careful study of the canvases, through self-shot and digital post-production, the works have come to life, in an almost ironic key, but one that makes us reflect on how the virus has conditioned our everyday life and on the indisputable power of art and new ways of communicating. The extreme sense of loneliness that jumps out at us when we look at the photos, being the only subject of the shots myself, is the tangible sign of those terrible and endless days.

A camera, a tripod, clothes and fabrics found in the house and light, the true essence of the whole. That same light that in those days seemed to have gone out, but that needed only a click to bring beauty back into our lives. In conclusion, I believe that the lockdown was a moment of deep reflection and that it encouraged creatives to bring to light what would never come to life during a period of normality.

Alas, our sector has been hard hit and I think it is difficult to make a concrete assessment of the damage at the moment.

What are your influences? Who are the artists and photographers you follow?

Before photographers, I find my inspiration and devote my time to consulting books and art pages. In my personal opinion, what a photographer, but also an amateur, has to do to refine his technique and creativity, is to study a 17th-century painting manual. On the other hand, the direct predecessors of the camera were undoubtedly the brush and the canvas. Speaking of photographers, I certainly follow with pleasure and admiration the creations of Nicholas Fols, Alessio Albi and Tim Walker. Perhaps because they are closer to my idea of photographic imagery and harmony of shapes and colours. 

Written by Giulia Guido
Listen on