Revealed identity - Milan: The shots of Nelson at Palazzo Reale

65 photographic portraits bring attention to the last natives of the most remote areas of the planet

"I use my camera to get as close to humanity as I can," says the Englishman Jimmy Nelson, born in 1967 in Sevenoaks (Kent), one of the most important contemporary photographers exhibiting for the first time in Italy sixty-five large shots at the Palazzo Reale in Milan under the title of "Humanity" (the exhibition is curated by Nicolas Ballario and Federica Crivellaro, the catalogue is by Skira). He visited with anthropological spirit the last natives of some of the most remote regions of the planet to witness our origins that still today are the mirror not only of the past and the present: they offer themselves as an essential reference point for any future.

THE CAMERA LENS FOCUSES ON THE IDENTITY OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES NOT YET CONTAMINATED BY GLOBALIZATION

"This is a lesson that never ends for me". In fact, according to him, the only way of salvation is to be able to express the identity, the value of indigenous peoples, of ancient tribes not contaminated by globalization to rediscover another contemporaneity. And he adds in this regard: "It takes humility to recognize that we are all one people despite appearances". Nelson discovered photography in Tibet at the age of sixteen. He then chooses to travel the world, as he did as a child following his father geologist in Africa, Asia, South America trying to enter into an empathetic relationship with the people who host him before opting for the click.

IN HIS WORK, HE CELEBRATES THE HUMAN ELEMENT IN HARMONY WITH THE NATURE THAT WELCOMES HIM

One of the expressive figures of his work is represented by portraits or by the choice of groups of people where the human element is celebrated that harmonizes with the nature that welcomes it: "What I care about the most are beauty and aesthetics, which depend on light". And in order to achieve all this, the possibility of getting to know each of the future interpreters of the "stories" is fundamental. In this way he is able to obtain not the image of externality but the meaning of a life that still belongs to us.

"AT THE END OF EACH JOURNEY I DECIDE ONE SINGLE SHOT"

Precisely for this reason "only at the end of each journey I decide one single shot". And in this single shot lies the preciousness of a message that not only seduces the eye but also nourishes the spirit of the unknown or insufficiently visited, even by the media, awareness.

The Author

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Was born in Genoa and lives in Pegli with a view to the mountains and the sea, a contrast that inspires him. He’s been dealing with contemporary art for more than forty years and he had the privilege of spending time with important artists like Enrico Baj, Arnaldo Pomodoro and Fernando Botero, just to name a few, trying to look into the intimate motivation of their creative gesture, in order to pour it in the written presentations about private and public exhibitions in Italy and over the world. He says he was lucky to meet the director who’s been welcoming and publishing his articles for a number of years now.

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