Born in 1958 in the port city of Catania, on the east coast of Sicily, Massimo Siragusa started his career with journalism studies before opening a bookshop and gallery dedicated to Italian photographers. In 1989, at the age of 29, he decided to become a photographer after meeting Ferdinando Scianna, a Sicilian international reporter from Magnum. He then moved to Milan and started his collaboration with the Contrasto agency. Now living in Rome, Massimo Siragusa teaches his art practice to the students of the European Institute of Design. His images in a saturated style have been published in international magazines such as New York Times Magazine, Time, Newsweek, El Pais or Le Figaro . They have been exhibited in Italy and abroad (France, Belgium, and Russia) and have won several honours at the World Press Photo Awards, Sony Awards, and Moscow Foto Awards. Massimo Siragusa has also produced advertising campaigns for the brands Lavazza, Kodak, Moleskine, Bosch, Kartell, and Alfa Romeo, among others. ...See moreSee less
I started taking pictures after my high school diploma, during my university studies, but I decided to turn the passion into a profession only later. Before photographing I managed a bookstore / gallery specialized in art books and photography in Catania, my hometown.
You are currently a photography professor, could you tell us more about your professional background?
I have not done specific studies in photography. All my photography training has been self-taught, reading a lot and studying the work of others photographers. I've been teaching for over 20 years now. I started in an art school in Catania where I was taking general photography courses, as a subject complementary to painting and drawing courses. Then, with the assignment at the IED university in Rome and in other private schools, I decided to hold courses closer to mine aptitudes. Now I teach documentary photography, urban landscape, corporate and industrial photography.
How would you describe your work in a few words? How would you define your photographic style?
My work starts from the analysis of the territory, from the transformations impressed by the human being, and from the analysis of the social and cultural changes of our epoch. My photographic style of reference is, certainly, the documentary style.
How do you select your shooting sites?
There is no precise rule that makes me choose one place rather than another. The choice of a place to photograph depends on the elements of the territory or the social dynamics that I want to analyze from time to time.
Which location did you most enjoy taking photographs of? Why?
I really love photographing cities to highlight the relationships between different architectures and periods and to analyze the changes and the transformations of the urban fabric. Every little sign is important to me present on the territory - even a torn poster or a barrier put provisionally to delimit an area - which are useful indicators for understanding and know a place.
Do you have a particular anecdote about one of your photographs?
Every photograph has its own story. I would say almost an autonomous, different life from that of all the others. I find it very difficult to choose a particular anecdote among the thousand stories that my work gave me the opportunity to live.
Born in Sicily, you enjoy photographing Italian landscapes and monuments. Do you intend to explore other countries and take photos of these places?
I used to take pictures in Italy because I am interested in analyzing the transformation of the landscape in our territory. Although, particularly in recent years, I feel the need to find different visual stimuli and surprises. This is why I am planning a series of jobs to be done abroad.
Which message do you want to convey through your photographs?
Telling our life, who we are and where we want to go, starting from our history and from what we have been able to build over time. That’s more than one message, I would say an attitude.
What famous photographs made an impression on you? And which ones do you like at YellowKorner?
There are many photographers that I have had as a reference over the years. Between Italians I would give the first place to Luigi Ghirri. Among foreigners, I would say Stephen Shore and William Eggleston. On Yellowkorner I love the Vintage series by Jacques Tati and Colorama.