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Concept and photography:
Rob van Hoesel
Luca di Salvo
Grafiche Morandi (IT)
Danilo Montanari Editore
In Florence where Martino Marangoni (IT) grew up, the division of public and private space was definite. Actions and behaviors were not the same behind closed doors as they were outside in the piazza where everything was noticed and commented on. When Marangoni moved to New York in the seventies, he was struck by how different the relationship among individuals in a public area was to what he had experienced in Florence. How indifferent people were to each other. For the first time he felt free from being judged, but also free to watch other people.
For children it is natural to stare at other people, until they are told that it is rude. Marangoni learned to be more discreet. He is a people watcher and photography enables him to have a subject to look at, stare at, if you like. Pointing a finger and pointing a camera are related gestures, drawing the attention of others. When taking photographs Marangoni avoids eye contact to capture the private inner expressions of individuals as they move and live in today’s often unfriendly public places.
Marangoni has come to appreciate the beauty of contemporary architecture. Many of these cathedral-like buildings are designed for maximum visibility and even transparency; the glass walls which separate public and private space have reduced our chances of privacy, taught us to ignore those around us and to expect to be left alone. Often urban architecture today seems to have ignored the need for ‘inner privacy’ by creating spaces that are isolating, even menacing. The individual is ironically placed in a situation of being alone together.
Martino Marangoni was born in Florence in 1950, where he currently lives. As the son of an Italian father and American mother he grew up bilingual and is of dual nationality. From 1972 he studied photography at Pratt Institute, New York, graduating in 1975. By visiting the U.S. and especially New York every year he maintained his close ties with America and in 1988 was ‘visiting professor’ at the Cooper Union. Studio Marangoni Foundation (FSM) was founded in 1991, a non-profit organisation which provides international, high quality education programs with the intention of promoting the Art of Photography. As its president Martino Marangoni plays a fundamental role as teacher and mentor for the school and its gallery. Since 1999 the foundation has been the Florence photography department of both New York University and Sarah Lawrence College Study Abroad Programs. Marangoni is a member of the International Photo Curators Association (Oracle) and since 2010 of the Society of Photographic Education in the USA. Simultaneously with his work at FSM Marangoni carries out a personal research as an artist obtaining international acclaim.