Architectural Photography: Gabriele Basilico

My previous post was all about my heroes of architectural photography: Eugene Atget, Gabriele Basilico, Robert Polidori, Ezra Stoller and Balthazar Korab.

Following is a little more - a glimpse - about Basilico. He looms large in my eyes, as do the others.

Basilico Portrait_20120508.jpg

I mentioned that Basilico was very much a modern day Eugene Atget in some respects - notably in his street photography throughout many European cities. Here is an image that speaks to this notion:


This is Ault, France, 1985 - Then & “Now”: Corner of Rue de la Peche & Rue de Saint-Valery.

Left: Street view as seen and photographed by Basilico in 1985.

Right: Screen capture of Google street view taken 26 years later in 2011.

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About his experience in 1985, Basilico said: “An old fashioned shop sign caught my eye and became the centre of interest in a space that struck me as magical and comforting. In the background, between buildings that make a harmonious composition, can be seen the sea, as flat as in a painting, a subtle invitation to escape.”

Basilico said it so well in both words and imagery. I find his description compelling in both respects (love his image here). By comparison though this location, as shown in 2011, has apparently lost much of the charm that caught Basilico’s eye in 1985. Sad how improvements made with best intentions can actually degrade a place in time. Or, is it simply that the light, Basilico’s timing and his rendering, makes all the difference? No doubt, a little of both.

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