As pointed out by the curator Gigliola Foschi, “Paolo Bonfiglio’s photographs are time’s collections and apparitions, which come from a long search in the wrinkles of the visible side. They hold and express tracks of vanished – or only hidden – presences. They tell us a story without stating a definite meaning, but they evoke fluctuating thoughts. (…) Like time marks able to accommodate unintentional genealogies emerging from street walls, Bonfiglio’s photographs are based on a crystal, geometric, and structured framing. They play on ambiguity between emptiness and light tones veiled with textured shades and reveal surfaces that are similar to vibratile and light diaphragms, like wind rustle. Then they penetrate textured layers gradually imbued with darkness, until an extreme black prevails. Any image of the book refers to the next one, slightly fading from light to dark, from lightness to strength of the substance, to a concealed black. The shadow contains a kind of dormant move which transforms the image in a static figure of time passing. This time, regained, embellishes the image with a vibrating stillness, crossed by the tremor of the past, by things absorbed by memory and oblivion.”
All Bonfiglio’s works have a backbone made of some recurring components. For instance, the combination between the search for different themes and languages, well represented by the distance between Surfacex itself and the Worldsamerica project, the latter being focused on some features of the most eye-catching features of the contemporary American culture – then a pop and colourful language is applied. Or, furthermore, the work-in-progress Stillness, where immobility of things can reveal a story. And the language is simple, direct, documentary, pointing put apparently secondary elements – irrespective of the subject: a person, a thing, a landscape.
The Surfacex project has been exhibited in different locations and published in a book which contains 33 pictures (out of 60+) in five parts, separated by short quotes from the Recherche by Marcel Proust: a kind of cross-reference that help investigating the nature of the pictures themselves.
Paolo Bonfiglio lives in Milan, where he was born in 1961. He studied business administration and works for an international consultancy firm. Photography always played a parallel and essential role, deployed through passion, dedication and fun. Throughout the years he attended some seminars and workshops, including a one-week experience with Andreas Bitesnich about nude.