Francesco Merlini‘s photographs pierce through our bland reality and bring a visceral energy to the ordinary, his pictures harsh, brightly lit, disturbing even, a vision that provokes us into looking past the banal and into the mysterious nature of our everyday.
Originally a fashion photographer Merlini has brought his aesthetic vision to photo journalism, his camera a tool to perceive the world in a new way, his photographs encouraging us to see things in a new light, his work primarily focussing on themes of death, sexuality and the moral decay of society. The underbelly that ebbs and flows in a parallel world and punctuates our daily existence.
Influenced by the iconic and visionary Japanese photographer Daido Moriyama as well as more contemporary artists such as Michael Ackerman and Jacob Aue Sobol – all of whom give an extraordinary emotional expression to their work – Merlini’s inexhaustible energy brings us notes from the otherside, his scrapbook giving us a flavour of his aesthetic predilections; colour and black and white pictures of people, cityscapes and the natural environment. All treated in the same way, all elevated to a living breathing organism that is at once alive and decaying, highly sensitive and full of emotional intensity. As he puts it himself:
For me, taking pictures has always been a way to collect visual notes about reality and particularly about my perception of that. Reality and photographer’s emotional and visual fund mould together in order to create a personal interpretation, according to my belief that photography’s capacity lies in its evocative power more than its narrative factor. My works have focused on different aspects and stories but I’ve always accomplished them as diaries imbued with a fascination that has made me focus mainly on the themes of death, sexuality and formal and moral decay in our society.