Giovanni Santarelli was born in a small village in Abruzzo (Italy), where he developed a profound bond with the art of photography. His passion eventually led him to move to Milan, where he soon began collaborating with major advertising agencies and national and international magazines around the world: London, Paris, Dubai, Japan, Austria, Sweden, Spain, Russia and beyond.
He is a regular contributor to numerous Italian and Japanese magazines including "The Rake", "Men’s Club", "GQ" and "Esquire". He is also co-author, photographer and art director for the online magazine "Monsieurbespoke" ().
In December 2016, his work was shown at the contemporary art exhibition, “Valori di Continuità”, at the Mentana Art Gallery, in Florence, of which he is is also a member. In April 2017, he exhibited at the Crypt Gallery London His work pivots primarily around a constant investigation of the perennial conflict between purity and the decadence of human existence. His work is particularly appreciated for to his unique ability to create images that convey intense emotions, whether in figurative or in apparently inanimate subjects.
What makes you choose this profession?
My love and passion for art, as expressed through photography, which is closest to how I experience life and express it. Through photography I feel free to be myself, free to dream and to make others dream (or at least I try to).
Could you share how do you expand your vision of art, fashion?
I don’t develop it in a conscientious manner, I think it’s something that you refine day by day. Everything my five senses perceive nourishes me and ends up influencing and developing my vision.
Is art, fashion important in your life? Why?
They absolutely are. In both art and fashion, I see the motor of human sentiments, the possibility to develop one’s internal world, a chance to bring out individual grace, the soul, even when expressing very strong concepts. Every work of art is a gift that is given to us, but we must know how to read and embrace it. It is a chance to enter into direct contact with the artist’s own evolutionary state, as this is the origin of the work itself.
If you have a talent, which do you wish to have? Why?
One talent I tried to develop is musicianship, in particular the electric guitar. Despite great effort, dedication and commitment, I did not succeed. It was hard for me to accept. It was really frustrating. Then, I realized that talent is something that is born with you. It can’t be born or develop out of nothing. Why? Because music reaches everyone in a strong and dominating manner, both children and adults. You don’t have to understand music to become moved and engaged. It creates direct contact when played live, some sort of magic happens between the audience and the musician, and I think it’s amazing.
Do you have any problem on the way of your profession? How did you solve it?
I’ve experienced a lot of difficulties. Sometimes, from an organizational standpoint, everything is just complicated – there’s a clashing of tastes or over how something should be done. Sometimes, whoever has commissioned the photo, gives you artistic limitations (sometimes rightly so), so the only way to find a solution is to sincerely listen to them and try to downsize your ego and build the unity that’s needed to get the best results. When the client limits me, it’s simply a way to try to find a different approach so that the client is happy about the product and I’m pleased with the new pathway that’s been found, so I don’t have to sacrifice my own creativity.