Alessandro Niccolai and his "Secret Affinities"
by Jack Harrison
I visited, in Tokyo, a highly interesting exhibition of the Italian photographer Alessandro Niccolai who is most often admired for his capacity to render everything simple and plain.
"I don't look for objects that have glamour," he said. He put his attention on a landscape, then he wows you with a beautifully detailed or wonderfully simple still life, and then there are some particular reflections.
And people, places. Take all of the variations above and you have Alessandro Niccolai, a very skilled and accomplished artist wending his way through his artistic life.
The quality and variation of this staggering body of work proves that the artist's world offers him an endless amount of interesting subject matter, but it also gives a great lesson in keen observation that all photographers could learn from. After all, finding subject matter is a major challenge of the artists process.
His work is immediately recognizable. If you asked me what makes it so, in a sense, what defines an Alessandro Niccolai piece, I would have to answer quality, sensitivity and, maybe most of all, his ideas.
His ideas leap out at you first. Most artists are not able to have to do with them too much.
Not so with Mr. Niccolai. His rich style is what makes his work so easily identifiable.
Mr. Niccolai is an artist who, in contrast to most photographers, writes, sometimes, extensive commentary ("Secret Affinities" project for example). His style draw you into his world and if you are like me, while visiting his site you will keep scanning his work, loosing track of time; going and going as if hypnotized by it.
His work is deep and driven by a unique life force. He has the ability to make every subject mystical.