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Saro di Bartolo, the Street Confessor


Triptych, part 02 by Thierry Maindrault

The photographic confession remains this rare and perilous exercise, reserved only to a few photographers of great talent, under penalty of calamitous mediocrity. Hard to identify, in the moving masses of our world, that something special which is almost invisible to all – in order to extract the “very substance”. Then, to offer it for general reflection (at least for those still capable of thinking). Not to be confused with personality trackers, we are not talking here about those who will steal a situation to throw it out to the mass of incorrigible voyeurs.

With Saro di Bartolo, you forget the sad shots taken one after the other, during an urban walk, without any regard either for the subjects or for the shots themselves. For this author, it is absolute observation, infinite patience and a perfect mastery of the tools for the precise construction of his images. No voyeurism, sharing binds him with his subjects with respect. Whether the subject is human, animal or a simple object, his photographic fixation, whether he is conscious of it or not, will carry away people looking at images. It is systematically the second degree which prevails, leaving all vulgarity and all opinions outside of reflection. Photography is capable of this, Saro shows it and demonstrates it, and many should take advantage of it.

The trivial becomes poetic, the poor becomes friendly, danger becomes innocent, through the magic of a photograph. This is taken at a precise moment, with a composition that guides the eye, colors that console or enrage, a precisely adjusted diaphragm, an appropriate light that marks the photos of this creator. This is how true know-how offers us very simple works, of extreme technical complexity, accessible to all and adapted to each person’s cultural level.

Whether his portraits are in tight frames or full length, solitary or in groups, in a rich or non-existent environment, the confession is always present. The technicality of the image is placed at the level and at the service of the subject and his relationship with the photographer. Stolen portraits, posed portraits, this question (in my opinion often stupid) heard many times, no longer exists with Saro. No one cares, it’s his works that stand out as essential, and the “the how to” don’t matter. All these encounters in the street, different and elsewhere, are beautiful photographic works.

Thierry Maindrault

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