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Lido Vannucchi, the photographer of light


by Sara Favilla, ph. Lido Vannucchi

His subjects “scrape” the darkness to make light

“Beauty will save the world” is the famous sentence by Dostoevsky which Lido Vannucchi has made his own ever since that first day when, still a twenty-year-old, he shouldered his Polaroid to photograph female nudes in their erotic sensuality, getting inspiration from the great works by Helmut Newton and Andy Warhol. And he has certainly changed quite a few cameras since those first years just as his subjects have changed but his spasmodic quest for emotion has never changed. A rare sensitivity which has enabled him to join his passion for art and aesthetics to that for food and wine, another staple reference point in his life, thanks to his mother’s unforgettable dishes which he was brought up and pampered with inculcating a strong sense of good taste for fine food. Lido Vannucchi summarises his last thirty years in one ironic phrase: “from nudes to noodles” but the main theme which has inextricably linked these years is without any doubt, emotion; his endeavor to bring out a soul from every subject, from food to people. The picture of a plate comes out from a neutral background – black or white – and becomes a portrait and takes on a three-dimensional and emotional depth because the photographer immortalizes it, yes, in its beauty but he always lets a furtive shadow emerge, an imperfection which does not only give a sense of three-dimension but is also the detail which makes an imperfection, humanity, the soul of things emerge. And since food – and wine – is fruit of man’s work, Vannucchi creates this constant reference to emotions even in his portraits, capturing figures which often come out from between the shadows, almost seeming to scrape through the darkness to come out into the light with the same effort Michelangelo chiseled away at the marble to reveal his sculptures which were already enclosed within, doing away with the superfluous. That is why very often Lido Vannucchi is called the photographer of light because he carves out his figures extracting them from the shadows only where necessary, in a theory of lines and geometry only apparently at random but where technique is always compliant to express the motions of the soul without overlapping the harmony of the glance, generating beauty and emotion. A photographer of important chefs such as Enrico Crippa, Massimo Bottura, Valentino Cassanelli, Cristian Tomei, Terry Giacomello, just to mention a few, but also of people who, with their work, contribute to give dignity to good food and fine wine, Lido Vannucchi is daily committed to the mission of enhancing all that’s made in Italy, in a constant research which involves heart and soul, always looking ahead but never forgetting his origins, always ready to be amazed and to give us emotions.