// Leonardo is an Italian photographer and graphic designer living in Prague. Visual creation is vitally necessary for him. With his camera he tries to capture an object´s essence, not necessarily beauty. In his series Meta-Pics, he therefore aims to give a minute of fame to apparently banal objects.
Leonardo studied photography and design in Milan and in Prague. He worked as an product photographer in the past but is now making a living as a graphic designer and keeping photography free from business constrictions, for his artistic expression. “That’s for me the best way to keep my work free and creatively dynamic,” he says. “Visual creation is a vital necessity for me. I see photography as an everyday exploration of daily objects in order to capture their depth and soul, despite their apparent banality. I am fascinated every time I can frame the exact moment when my subject shows its power and expression. More than the beauty of what’s in front of the lens, I am interested in its essence. I try to capture its soul, which sometimes hides in the shapes, sometimes in the colour rhythms, sometimes in the structure of the material or in the battles between shadows and lights.”
“My art gets done in idleness, I need to look away in order to see,” he adds.
Leonardo´s photos have been featured in a number of collective and solo exhibitions in art galleries in Prague and Gudapest, and at Prague Photo. Most recently his series Voids & Volumes, which we encourage you to see at this website, was shown at Galerie Solidet in Prague in 2022.
“I don’t trust words. I trust pictures.”
What draws you to the arts?
“Photography and art are simply my language of expression. I don’t take photos because of a passion, but through them I try to express myself. My introvert nature has always failed me in actively showing my voice, my thoughts. Through conceptual photography I feel perfectly free to dare, to tell what I feel and what I believe. Creating and enjoying art has always been for me the most powerful tool to merge with the rest of the universe outside my shell.”
What do you like best about this photographic project?
“I am fascinated every time I capture the exact moment in which my subject shows its power and expression. More than the beauty of the object, I am interested in its essence. I try to capture its soul, that sometimes hides in shapes, sometimes in colours, sometimes in the very structure of the material or in the game of shadows and lights.“
With his photography Leonardo aims to break the everyday objects’ apparent banality by showing their hidden different faces. “Because there’s no such thing as a banal subject,” he says. “Everything speaks, if we learn how to perceive.”
The aim of Leonardo´s Meta-Pics series is to go beyond the subject, as the title “meta”, the ancient Greek “beyond,” suggests, providing the objects with a moment of fame,” he says. Highlighting their structure, colours, and dynamics, he focuses on a unique moment of epiphany from the ordinariness of things.
During his photo shoots he often prefers a high depth of field and shot the series in digital RAW, using macro or portrait lenses, longer exposure times, and closed apertures. The lighting is often dim and directional and involves the use of flashlights, infrared lamps, candles or natural light. The contrast is always very deep, to turn the ordinary into something “epic”.
Because Leonardo´s images are to be viewed as pairs, they correspond with each other in one way or another, we deviate from our usual gallery layout.
Click on the photos to see a larger image and the image title.
ALL PHOTOS © LEONARDO CASSI
To see more of his photography visit Leonardo´s Instagram page.