Tuesday, April 17, 2012
5 Minutes With Carlo Pieroni
Carlo Pieroni was born in Florence, Italy. He is currently the world's leading photographer of Pin-Up Art. His work is a combination of photography and digital manipulation where he "paints" each image to create a timeless vision of femininity.
Q1. What was the first record you bought and what effect did it have on you?
CP: My first 45, "Satisfaction" by The Rolling Stones. First 33, "Are You Experienced" by Jimi Hendrix. I loved "Foxy Lady". I became instantly cool. Or at least I thought I was.
Q2. When did you start taking Pin-Up style pictures and who or what influenced you to do that?
CP: My father owned many businesses. Most of them unexciting. One business however made me the envy of every school aged boy in town. I was the Cooper Hefner of my generation in Florence, Italy during those glorious years my father owned a cabaret in San Frediano that presented burlesque shows on balmy afternoons. Even though I was only 10, I was the owner's kid and therefore I had free run of the place. No one could say a word. My mother was oblivious to my whereabouts. More than likely she thought I was at a friend's house watching Zorro. I was really into Zorro for awhile. The women on stage were fun, flirtatious and sultry. They danced and winked and wore skimpy costumes and yet they looked like the girl next door. They weren't vulgar. They were inviting. I was hooked-really hooked. So with that kind of upbringing, it's not hard to imagine that I didn't turn out to be an accountant. I started shooting Pin-Ups back in the 90s when I was already a well established fashion photographer. The 90s went through a dark period and I longed for the carefree days of hanging out in my father's theater. I shot a successful Pin-Up calendar and have been shooting Pin-Up images ever since.
Q3. You recently moved to the USA from Florence-What prompted the move and how do you think this will affect your work?
CP: My rather bright daughter got accepted to Duke. My sons caught the Duke fever and here I am. I am hoping the move will have a positive impact on my work. Otherwise, I may have to open a cabaret.
Q4. Do you agree that rapid information exchange via the Internet means that photography is a more instant art form?
CP: Look at the success of Instagram. So, yes absolutely. However, art is very subjective. At times I think we throw the word "art" around a bit too loosely. Nonetheless, if instant art promotes art, then bring it on. However having said that, I painstakingly work on every one of my images for days. I'm pretty much old school in that regard.
Q5. Do you have a really crazy 'celebrity' anecdote/story?
CP: One day a beautiful, tall, freckle-faced American model slinked into my studio for a shoot. She was funny and unaffected unlike so many of the other models I had worked with. At the end of shoot she stripped, grabbed a beer out of the fridge, filled the bath with hot water and read the Herald Tribune.- I was hooked. I married her.