Olivo Barbieri

(1960) Italian


Olivo Barbieri was born in Emilia-Romagna, Italy, in 1954 and studied at the University of Bologna. His photographs of global landscapes are a kind of documentation, which look like a cross between an epic snapshot, an architectural time-motion study, and a painterly picture of a miniaturized town or scene. He achieves this effect through the use of selective focus, using the tilt and swing mechanism on his view camera to bring some areas of the image into sharp focus while throwing other areas out of focus, in order to highlight what he sees is most important in the scene. His Site Specific project, begun in 2003, describes cities including Rome, New York, and Shanghai using photos and film, and his films have been presented at the Berlin, New York, and Toronto film festivals, among others.
Barbieri’s photographs are held in collections including the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris; Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea Torino; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
Mary O'Donnell Hulme
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