acting circus Gabriele Tartoni Italy performing arts



// Gabriele is an Italian photographer living in Prato, Tuscany. A professor of agriculture by profession, since becoming a member of the photo club “Il Bacchino”, his photographic journey has led him down a photographic journey, artistically documenting both nature and people around him. He shared portraits of Elder, a modern clown.

In 2018 Gabriele´s audiovisual presentation on the nature of the Bilancino lake (located near Barberino del Mugello, Tuscany) was published in the online magazines “Il filo del Mugello”, and his photos have been published and exhibited in a number of Italian photo festivals and exhibitions and in a photo book.

“But what kind of man are you, in conclusion?” ….. “I am a clown,” I replied “and I collect moments”

Heinrich Böll

What draws you to the arts?

I am attracted by the ability of artists to excite through their work.

What impresses you most about circus shows?

I was impressed by the surreal atmosphere in which the protagonist of the show and the audience are immersed: as in a dream.

Elder is a modern clown. He works alone and therefore he needs a direct relationship with the audience, which he constantly involves in his gags, in search of that magical moment that results in laughter, a true moment of satisfaction for the clown artist. It is a moment so important that it makes him always show himself cheerful, even if the mood is not always right. And during showtime, which is an essential and constant component of his life, moments of light and shadows are reflected, as in a mirror.

In Gabriele´s series, which he calls Light and Shadows, he wanted to seize some particular moments in a circus performance: moments in which the clown expects the appreciation of the audience, those moments of perfect harmony in which he realizes that he has engaged the feelings of those who came to see him. And, Gabriele says, he also wanted to capture moments of personal reflection, moments present in everyone’s life: even a clown can have shadows in his face.

Gabriele uses blur in his images intentionally to symbolise dreams, to show enchantment. They are to him real but at the same time fantastic images, mirroring the feeling that many have when watching a show in general and the circus in particular. The effect is also intended to make certain images dynamic, showing the movement of the clown on the scene.

Images may be cropped for layout. Click on the photos to see the original version.


To see more of his photography visit Gabriele´s Instagram page. Elder the clown also has his own Instagram page and Youtube channel, in case you want to check it out.