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Saro di Bartolo, the Witness of Labor


Triptych, part 01 by Thierry Maindrault

I met Saro di Bartolo, quite by chance, he was presenting a good number of photographs as part of SiFest 2017. The technical and graphic quality of his work clearly stood out compared to the other presentations. The author was present. He is friendly, he can  talk to you for hours about everything and nothing (except photography). As is often the case with many photographers, the man has worn many hats in his many activities. Among other things, his profession as an interpreter made him work for a long list of various important personalities, including for a meeting of George Bush with Mikhail Gorbachev. The character being situated, I will take you, for three days, thru his photographic works which I selected.

All the photographs of Saro  are those of a tireless globetrotter who will bear witness to our times. All these images have no limits in terrestrial space, they are only limited by the time that the light will freeze. In a word, a return to the basis of the photographic image, which is too frequently forgotten.

This first part is devoted to images that tell us about moments of work. In their construction, balance, and colored masses, each of these photographs involves the reader, consciously, and even unconsciously. The relationships of masses, the colors  in spaces that owe nothing to chance, take us well beyond the story that is obvious. The wait for ideal light, so capricious in certain latitudes, is part of the social message and the acceptance of the unacceptable, for many readers. Perfectionism leaves nothing to chance. The depths of field which, at first, suggest a setting error, support the meaning of the story.

And then, if we simply stay in the materiality of the photographs, they give pleasures to the eyes, which remains essential. They catch the eye, without repulsive violence. These contrasts support the claims of the context between a work desired or endured. All these photographic testimonies, through their design, their precision and their perfectionism, tell us more about the situation of the laborious economic activities of our planet, than multiple abstruse debates. The icing on the cake is that Saro’s images  are visible, accessible, understandable by everyone, without exception.

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