MIISTA INTERVIEWS: GIUSEPPE PALMISANO
Isonopipo, nee Giuseppe Palmisano, was born in '89 in Italy.
Palmisano’s photographs of women's bodies charmingly piled up can be found on every hippy Instagram that cares about aesthetics. Even in the face of the tremendous popularity, counting in thousands of reposts, I could not find not a single commendable interview with this talented individual. This makes his work even more mysterious, BUT, it's time to give the man some spotlight!
We got a chance to interview Palimisano and were able to ask the young artist about his work and his place in the current photographic and artistic zeitgeist.
In the following conversation we chat about the inspiration behind his work, his study of a women's body and his general attitude towards life. Let's dive into his sea of colourful undergarments.
Would you say growing up in Apulia, or in the South of Italy has influenced your work? And in what ways?
Definitely, I always saw Apulia and South of Italy in general as a place full of poetry, living within tradition, traditional cuisine, music and family. There’s also a lot of madness, perhaps from the need to find a way to survive. I think all of this deeply influenced me. Sometimes I rediscover artistic practices that remind me of past experiences.
The South of Italy is a particularly Catholic and conservative area; has this impacted your perception of women and sexuality as artist?
I think it influenced my respect and the care I take when approaching it. It isn’t really a rule that would apply to all. But families in the south are really big and there’s always a chance to engage with many different women, I had five in my house, without mentioning my aunts. This had a huge impact on my sensibility that I believe to be pretty feminine.
Is the male gaze a part of your art?
Biologically yes, but I believe in a very small part. Many people still think I’m a women's artist.
What is your concept of the woman?
I see the woman as the complete animal, as the world, God and the object. She who holds both the positive and negative. I think she has the power to be whatever she wants. That’s the reason I always loved to play at transfiguring her into something else.
I never had clear inspirations. Jodorowsky inspired me for a while when working as a theatre actor. It’s the approach I love the most. As for the aesthetic Bourdin did his part, but I had to mix it with the poetry I discovered in theatre.
Do you think being a male photographer you have a different perspective on the woman body?
Not being a woman myself, the research I make revolves around this endless search for intimacy. Entering intimacy without violating it. Something like utopia. I really love to observe how the woman looks at herself, even though I never translated it into an image, probably because it is the most erotic thing to me.
On this matter, you seem to be interested in the women body as a central theme of your photographs; why is that?
It is the most powerful expression of nature, with her I can behold the all beauty of the world and decide how to use it.
It’s our ground, our starting point. I don’t want to narrate something with a dress, maybe add some colour at least
Eroticism in the eye of the beholder. It in inevitable to be erotic. But I don’t seek eroticism, often I try to understand how to strip the woman of it. But again, is all the eye of the beholder.
What would you like to communicate?
I don’t want to “communicate”, I want to bring together, create bridges and connections. At times communication is unidirectional, and I don’t like that. I don’t need to explain anything, I don’t bring any truth inside me. I use photography as any other tool, for a bigger purpose, such as relationships between people. The ones that save me everyday. Maybe my art is a bit like shoes, it allows feet to walk from a soul to another one. ;)
All of the bodies and portraits you shoot are pervaded by an aura of anonymity, almost like you cover eyes or body parts to deliver emotions more effectively, would you agree?
Yes, it was always all about hiding the person within the faces I shoot. I don’t want to narrate the “Here and Now”, but instead “The Forever”. To make a piece that’s out of time of the women I encounter, where space and time challenge each other in an ever-ending game to play the main part.
Interiors, simple settings, retro furniture and clean palettes also characterise your work, why so?
Also, a cook! Nobody knows that but it could be the one thing I do best.
I believe that when you intentionally do not want to put any emotion in the picture, you end up putting your entire self into it. So yes indeed, it’s a portrait. I’m pervaded of this kind of sensations.
There's also a sense of mystery, like something that's not looking for an explanation, but mysterious nonetheless, was that intentional?
Art is all about that. Generally every piece of art is grounded within an riddle, a question that doesn’t ask for an explanation but hints only a doubt, a curiosity, this is the power and charm of art.
What inspires you?
I love the verb “inspire”, is like the action of breathing, I’m really inspired by life itself.
With "Oltrepensare", has publishing your first book changed your vision in some ways?
I would love to explore eroticism and soon, I’ll have the chance to play with collectivity doing a shoot with 300 women!