Giovanni Bortolani Fake Too Fake

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Media influences our perception of beauty - a topic that has been widely discussed amongst researchers, photographers, artists etc. The definition of beauty and aesthetics presented by the media determine how we would like to look like and how we feel. Everyone strives for eternal beauty, which has become a synonym of well-being and success. Flaws and imperfections are covered as much as possible. In his Fake Too Fake project, photographer and digital artist Giovanni Bortolani deals with the transcience of beauty and perfection. His magnetizing digital manipulations are somewhat unsettling at first glance. A second look however helps to realize the incredible aesthetic research hidden behind each image. “Many times we use the expression “almost unreal” to describe something very beautiful, as well as we say “so beautiful it looks real” to indicate a perfect artefact. Starting from this perspective I decided to show the contact point between the real and the unreal” Bortolani explains. For more information check out the interview below and visit his website

How would you describe yourself in one sentence?
The lunatic is in my head.

Whom do you look up to?
All of the artists from the Italian Renaissance until Caravaggio. Then, the first ones that come to mind... Rene Magritte, Francis Bacon and Piero Manzoni. Between the photographers, László Moholy-Nagy, Man Ray and Phillippe Halsman.

Are there any personalities that have contributed to your successful career path?
Particularly one... the artist Bruno Munari, my teacher in Milan. He has been the biggest influence on my way of thinking when I was 20 years old.

What made you want to become a photographer?
When I worked as an art director, I created advertising campaigns and collaborated with many great photographers. Then one day I could not stand that other photographers materialize my ideas. I wanted to play too.

What was your favourite project and why?
FakeTooFake because it is a turningpoint in my life. It was a liberation of nightmares for me. Like a scream in the night, a retching, a freedom of advertising system, it is a start and return to the origin at the same time.

How do you define creativity?
Creativity is not a free thought, the lunatics are free. Creativity is a job that you learn. Children are creative, creativity must be kept alive. Creativity is a technique to make an idea edible. Creativity without method is nothing. Creativity can be there without talent. You learn he technique, the talent cannot be bought. Creativity and talent together can make an artist.

If you had one advice for someone seeking to live a creative life, what would you tell him?
Do not be too serious. Never stop playing and see the world through the eyes of a child. Feed the curiosity and share their projects. Copy to learn, and then work hard to find yourself and your own way.

Do you have a favourite quote that describes what you truly believe in?
“Creando Facendo” is an ode to do. I mean to say: do not think too much, an idea begins to do. The imagination is a great power. When you have a vision, an intuition, stop immediately and draw your attention to it. Then look about how to do it and finally do it.

What was the biggest challenge you’ve faced during your career as a photographer?
I think it's always the next challenge.

What do you know now that you wish you knew at 21?
To take it easy and do not ever get angry. Time flies away it is true, but the art tricks him and you can be happy now.

Is there anything for which you would be ready to give up your passion of photography?
Once I tried it because I wanted to be a good man. But not for me. I could not face life without photography. Life is beautiful but the reality is cruel. It must be so much poetry and beauty to live it to the end. And now let me alone because I want to photograph the invisible.

All images © Giovanni Bortolani

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