Paolo Roversi left Italy in 1973, moving to Paris to start work as a photographic assistant. He still lives there, only now he is one of the leading exponents of his art. Intense , ethereal, graceful, enigmatic, and fragile his work is instantly recognisable and much imitated.
Since 1980 he has worked primarily with 10x8 polaroid; building photographic stories like an architect. Rarely on location, but within the controlled studio environment. Dancing in the dark, painting with a torch on long exposures, multiple exposures, rich saturated colour and abstract cinematic storylines are his signature. Fashion is constantly changing but like all great fashion photographers Roversi's work is timeless, developing slowly whilst maintaining the neccesary contemporary edge for him to remain an integral contributor to magazines such as Italian and French Vogue.
His new book 'Libretto' is a precious jewel. A literal translation from Italian of the title means 'little book', a modest title for something so beautifully produced in this time of design over content. A slim black box holds the rich red perfect bound volume. In hand made paper with a cellophane cover for protection it looks to good to touch. But on seeing the pictures inside the reason behind such packaging becomes obvious. Rich in colour and tone there is a feeling of entering into a photographic 'Midsummer Night's Dream'. These are not pictures to pass over quickly but to return to again and again each time allowing them to reveal another layer of colour, form and meaning.
It is sometimes hard to recommend a photographic book to buy as a gift or for yourself. Peoples taste's in approach and subject matter vary so greatly. However, this is a book which I would have no hesitation in recommending. It is a rare thing. A beautiful book at a very affordable price which showcases a photographers work in perfect harmony. Buy it before it becomes a collectors item.