F FOR FAKE
Subtle humour and a bright flash: that’s how the Milan-born photographer of waggish and anti-glamorous project F for Fake, Ronni Campana (b. 1987, Italy), describes his work. The project that bursts with vivid colours, spontaneity and layer upon glossy layer, is Campana’s witty statement about Florence, where he currently lives and works. The truth is: the photographer’s second home has always been the Beaux-Arts capital of the world. However, its overflow with souvenir shops that sell Michelangelo’s and Botticelli’s representations stamped on cheap mugs and lighters has become a bitter pill to swallow for its citizens.
Intentionally, for this project, by only focusing on close-ups of fake paintings and sculptures, Campana managed to communicate the shift that occurred in art since the invention of the copy machine. Each photograph of the series screams with irony and shows the loss of traditional and ritualistic value in art. For instance, the image of Jesus that during the Renaissance was restricted to churches and museums, in 2019 is printed right on the kitchen apron – a paradox that undermines Classicism in the age of mechanical reproduction.