Pasquale Autorino, native Italian currently based in Milan, caught our attention ever so swiftly through his sensational eye for composition, details and visual poetry, as well as for his distinctive pictorial method of photography. Defining himself as a “Visionary Of The Unconscious”, his vision is characterised by a mystic element, flourishing throughout his body of work. Among his key inspirations, there’s mysticism and dreaming, together with the Freudian instincts of Life and Death (in ancient Greek, Eros and Thanatos), both of which hover in his head spasmodically. Darkness, Mystery, Melancholy, Narcissism and Romanticism: an ineffable climax of feelings, constituting few of the idyllic approaches gracing his visionary philosophy. Besides, a pivotal hue which never fails to be present within his creations is Silver. Why so? Yet, an undefinable factor according to the artist. We catch up with one of the most promising visual storytellers of the moment to learn more.
Hi Pasquale! Could you introduce yourself?
Let’s start with the world grey. When I describe myself, I never fail to associate myself to this colour. It represents the undefined sphere of what administers my world, the uncertainty and gradations of what it is. How do I see myself? Concentrated on my introspective vision but at the same time projected towards the outside world.
If you could describe yourself in four words…
I am an introverted, hypersensitive, romantic, and melancholic person. My photography reflects in my whole being: it’s restless, introspective, mystical and romantic.
What has particularly pushed you to pursue photography?
The cyclical, repetitive and constant trend of time has always given me little margin of breath. The speed according to which the world moves has often made me feel at the mercy of events. I needed to stop and encapsulate something eternal. Photography has allowed me to achieve so. It has given me the ability to immortalize without pressure.
What attracts you to the themes you explore in your work?
My shots are a representation of my experience, they act as a memory and as a direct channel between my past and my present. They allow me to add missing pieces to my past. A path of awareness and individual growth that allows me to create stories of truths that are often veiled.
What influences your photographic practice?
Perhaps, I may dare say the every-day life. I tend to welcome all the inspirations from the outside world which could be a scene from a film, a landscape seen when sat on a train, an interesting face of a random person. Though, my creative process always starts from my dreams.
What are the most recent topics delved into your photographs?
A micro universe governed by mixed feelings, impossible loves, uneasiness and missed opportunities.
Why do you feel an urge in shooting?
Photography is a necessity for me; it’s my only creative outlet. I shoot in order to transfer my thoughts visually. My aim is to transmit feelings and moods and I would help other people through what I do.
Did any specific moments in your life influence your photography?
I didn’t know what “happiness” meant until I gained awareness of how to explain my pain.
Since my early days, I have always preferred photography to tell my stories, so I could have concealed my biggest traumas. On the other side, I can transmit them through my models who almost become victims of my frustrations. Thanks to photography, I understand that the negative experiences combined with the positive experiences formed the artist I am now.
What are the techniques used in your work?
My pictures are free of any major editing. I always shot with natural light and I love it because it’s just like me, vacillating and unpredictable. I edit the brightness and contrast of the different areas of the image. Also, I think that a good photography is balanced between shape and colour; therefore, I try to get this effect during the shot, not at home when I’m at my PC.
Your approach to photography seems to be almost romantic. Are there any creative practitioners, even beyond Fashion, that inspire you?
My unconditional love for art, the cult of beauty, the daily satisfactions: I feel emotions without feeling the need to hide them. However, above all, there’s a sense of wonder and powerlessness in timeless beauty. In terms of inspiration? Certainly, Man Ray, who through his vision, motivated my creative path. Lana Del Rey, on the other hand, has served me as a support during the darkest periods, by always making me rediscover the strength to continue despite the downcast moments, to lull my nightmares.
How do you go about choosing your models?
Well, my model choice represents a fundamental phase for my shots. I tend to prefer models that have an aesthetic similar to mine or that I feel close to emotionally. Therefore, selecting a figure that can represent me is not a short or simple process; I need to get to know a person before I can photograph them because I have to empathize with them.
What are your hopes for the future?
All I ask is for an inner growth that can satiate my art, making it a stimulus and a source of emotion for others.
Where do you hope to take your vision?
As far as I possibly can.
Words by Chidozie Obasi