PHOTOGRAPHER'S MARCO PIETRACUPA
For Fall Winter 2018, Valextra enlisted Italian photographer Marco Pietracupa to tell the story of the new collection through powerful imagery. The project follows a debut collaboration between the photographer and the Milanese leather goods brand; Personal Subject, for which Pietracupa documented Valextra’s creative circle in his distinctive raw style.
The new photographic portfolio features a visual language new to Valextra, imbued with the sense of discovery and enchantment conveyed by the collection’s story. Valextra’s invitation to experience a moment of calm and lightness mixing nature and mystery is played in a magical forest that transports us back to our ancestral roots, to live our lives at a slower pace. The background chosen for the photographs is Dreamwoods, a Tuscan forest dotted with raw sculptures made of stones and found objects by German artist Deva Manfredo.
Pieatracupa flawlessly translated the collection’s fairy-tale inspired theme into powerful imagery, playing with the location’s fascinating artworks to bring the forest to life. The bags become the imaginary inhabitants of the enchanted location, perched like little animals on stone totems or anthropomorphic creations. Each shot is imbued with Pietracupa’s unmistakable signature style and mixes the man-made interventions with natural charm. The photographer documented the collection but also the environment, creating a narrative that brings to life the bags as the residents of the unique magical forest.
The photographer, whose work usually revolves around portraiture, demonstrated an incredible prowess with still-life, playing with geometries, colors, and light to tell a multifaceted story. His images are often characterized by extreme compositions displaying a novel idea of glamour, and his habitual narrative focus translated well into the collection’s poetic themes. Pietracupa immersed himself in the story and the location, and this allowed him to create a memorable set of images to seamlessly document the collection.
Here, he talks about his experience shooting the series.
What were your first impressions on the locations for these images, artist Deva Manfredo’s Dreamwoods?
At first I was surprised, my first impressions were very pleasant, it’s a location immersed in nature, which transported me into a oneiric, surreal and meditative world. It’s the right location for me.
Which elements of the forest first caught your attention?
Of course Deva’s pieces are perfect within that little forest. I think he found the perfect location for his artworks.
What’s the brief Valextra gave you for the shoot?
They only asked me to take beautiful pictures.
How did you choose each image’s composition?
It was a team effort, I worked on the images together with Art Director Susanna Cucco. We worked instinctively and spontaneously; that’s how I usually work anyways.
What's the story told by these photographs?
It’s a fairy-tale open to interpretation, that you can create yourself.
In the new collection, Valextra bags are presented like the inhabitants of an enchanted forest. How did you translate this narrative into your images?
I think it was easy to create the images as I had all the right ingredients. When I shoot, I usually let the environment transport me.
Did you adapt your style to work on these images?
I worked in my signature style, I didn’t need to change it.
You usually shoot portraits; here you worked on still-lives, in a very particular location. How did you approach the project and what were the challenges of this format?
In everything I shoot, I use my eye, my style and my point of view. I adapt to the situation. I more frequently shoot portraits; working on still-lives is rare for me. But I am able to adapt and apply my style and my eye to many things. I often do it with architecture, people like to work with me on these projects as the result is always a beautiful surprise.
Marco Pietracupa is an Italian photographer, excelling in portraying strong personalities with his signature flash-lit candor. He is the author of Valextra Personal Subject, dedicated to the creative community that revolves around Milan.