Federico Clavarino

Artist Blog by Nicholas Albrecht

I don’t really remember how I came across Federico’s work but I remember not forgetting it. His latest work, Italia o Italia, has gotten really great reviews and in my opinion deserves all of them. In this post I wanted to point out an older body of work, the one that I first saw.

La Vertigine, Italian for Vertigo, holds certain qualities of photography that I have come to appreciate very much. Part of the definition of Vertigo says »… sensation of loss of balance«. To me that translates into the weight one feels while facing the possibility of falling. I find his images to contain that weight. If a photograph can make me feel my own weight, and consequently a powerful sense of tension, then that image has gone beyond the depiction of a scene and has opened up to something new.

When Jim Goldberg gave a brief presentation to the Sophie Calle lecture for the Larry Sultan Visiting Artist Program at CCA in San Francisco, he said something about evoke/provoke. I find that word combination to fit Federico’s work perfectly. His intelligent use of forms, light vs dark, abstraction, and the human presence in some of the images, allows for the images to haunt the viewer with an anxiety that goes further than what is in front of the camera.


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