|| Roma Interiors
Roma Interiors is a collection of portraits
capturing the sedate and decorous intimacy of an outwardly loud and gregarious
Carlo Gianferro has discovered a profound – almost religious –
ethnic performance enacted by proud and wealthy Roma people deep within
their own private quarters; staged amidst ancient furniture, tapestries,
paintings, sacred icons, porcelains, stairs, mirrors, and so much more.
Their accumulated wealth is demonstrably on display as prestige items
in their palatial homes and villas, distributed throughout expansive rooms
and in corridors and foyers leading to and from them – and yet abruptly
offset by empty spaces awaiting to be filled.
Pictures of women sitting on elegant sofas or painted in familiar moments,
young men lying on beds in luxurious rooms, old women lost in memories,
proud parents admiring their children. Portraits of people wanting to
demonstrate they have found and built a place to live and the future in
our society without losing gypsy values that their ancestors verbally
and with all their heart handed down.
These are unprecedented portraits of a long underground and secretive
society suddenly and mysteriously willing to surface and make an extravagant
ritual announcement to the outside world of their material achievement
– Carlo Gianferro's
series, Roma Interiors, won 1st prize for Portrait Stories at
the World Press Photo Awards 2009, and was also shortlisted for the Grand
Prix at Fotofestiwal 2009,
the 8th International Festival of Photography in Lodz, Poland. Text reproduced
by kind permission of Fotofestiwal 2009.