Slightly long hair disheveled by the wind, grayed by a long and adventurous life on the roads of the world, cigar, off, perpetually between the lips, a pair of Nikon cameras equipped with “cannons”-telephoto lenses over the shoulder, intense and very mobile and a smile halfway between mischievous and amazed, of the eternal child in search of image and emotion, a deep and hoarse voice: this is what one perceives at first sight knowing Pino Bertellilifelong photographer, traveler to all countries in search of fleeting moments and faces to immortalize with a click, “citizen of the world” as he likes to define himself, but in the end always tied to “his” Piombino, his Ithaca to what or then it always comes back.
His portraits identify people of all ages and origins, placed in the place that these characters love the most, but always placed in the foreground, forgetting the backgrounds that become accessories, because Pino prefers the person and, as a “master” of photography as he is, through the expression of the subject, reveals his world.
Pino then has a rare and commendable virtue, very rare: in his long career, of more than 50 years, he has obtained prestigious prizes and awards, many international, for his reporting, including in places of war; He has produced films and documentaries together with prominent cultural personalities, director, writer, composer and much more, but his way of presenting himself is with the typical humility that only the greats know how to express, because at the base of his life there are always memories of the old your father’s precept: “A man can look down on another man only to get up”…
If we talk about Pino Bertelli, we cannot fail to mention paula cricketlife partner, not like “her other half”, nor her “inspiring muse” because it would be reductionist and irreverent for her who, with enthusiasm and organizational strength, “gives encouragement to the adventure of our street poetry and has accompanied all the photographic derivatives narrated together in the world”, as Pino writes of “his” Paola. Paola, also a historian, documentary filmmaker, writer, teacher and much more, forms an inseparable duo with Pino, made of love and complicity that make these two ” P” a wonderful alliance of art and poetry.
In the prestigious and historical setting of the Piombino Archaeological Museum(Val di Cornia Parks System) overlooking the canal that separates it from theElba, Thank you Given the kind hospitality of the Manager, Marta Coccoluto, and before an attentive and highly involved public, Pino Bertelli presented his latest work yesterday, after a gestation period of about 10 years: “People from Piombino, portraits of a post-industrial city”an impressive volume of more than 250 faces, created thanks to the collaboration of the municipal administration of Piombino and the cultural association “Il Gatto Nero” with Simone Frau who supervised the creation and printing.
I don’t realize how involved I found myself in this presentation, but the satisfaction I felt in representing the Italo Bolano Foundation and, very immodestly, even a bit of Elba was enormous.
Pino and Paola arrived at the San Martino Open Air Museum on May 1, the day the Museum reopened its doors after the winter break, under a sky full of rain and an omen of storm. The spark of sympathy, complicity and collaboration was immediately ignited when these two characters, still unknown to me, almost timidly presented their new project: a photographic volume entitled “People of the Tuscan Archipelago”, Of course, because for an artist at each conclusion of a project, the desire and challenge of embarking on a new adventure immediately arises, and that’s how it was. Pino is once again on the hunt for faces, for portraits of those who live, work, suffer and love on these islands full of history and beauty that, even before Piombino, have known the inevitable approach to tourism as a source of survival and prosperity first. so, after the end of the war and the post-war period.
Thus began the new adventure of this couple, in search of faces to immortalize to document a multifaceted and varied society, dispersed in this archipelago of colors and nature, often wild, sometimes almost unreachable, whose only link is the sea. It takes courage, but above all a lot of love, in the digital age and the ephemeral world of “social networks” to face a documentation process whose ultimate goal is printed paper, without contributions, without even knowing who will finance the production. of the volume, but having in my soul and heart only the desire to work to leave posterity a testimony of true life, stolen from the street, a documentation that only posterity will fully appreciate.
Therefore, I am happy, both personally and the Italo Bolano Foundation, to be able to lend a hand to this project by recommending to anyone who meets these two solitary figures on the street, to pay attention and respect to them: they are immortalizing the reality of our Islands with love, for the young people who are in our future.
Appointment, hopefully soon, at the Italo Bolano Museum for the presentation of this important work.
Alessandra Ribaldone – Italo Bolano Foundation
In the photos:
– The photographer-artist Pino Bertelli (Photo Paola Grillo)
– The cover of the volume Gente di Piombino (photo Paolo Bertelli)
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