four equestrian studies
There is something about the exterior of a horse
which befits the interior of a man.
I spent many hours in a completely white studio – a setting that recreated the beautiful diffused light of the north – in a sort of unmediated face-to-face encounter with free horses, imbued with great physicality and intensity. I passed an equal amount of time seeking an even closer approach, observing the heads of other horses in front of a black wall, in a logic of total suspension, withdrawal and leanness.
Inspired by Anna Mura Sommella’s description of the heads of the horses of a seventeenth century fresco by Cavalier d’Arpino, the Battle of Tullus Hostilius against the Veientes and the Fidenates, as the most beautiful ever painted, I scaled scaffolding to examine at them from the same perspective, isolating them from their context and trying to make their full expressive power emerge. For days on end I walked around a bronze horse cast many centuries ago, inherited from ancient Rome – or an even more ancient Greece – and found the key to revive its extraordinary physical presence in photographs that make its details emerge from a totally black ground.
I tackled different times and spaces, without haste and with patient observations, in the company of real horses or mere depictions of them, to unite them in a single category: timeless photographs.