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Roberto Bossaglia

via di Monserrato 30, Rome, Italy

On Thursday 1 October 2015, at 5pm, a solo exhibition by the Italian photographer Roberto Bossaglia (Cagliari, 1942) will open at the MAC Maja Arte Contemporanea gallery in Rome (via di Monserrato, 30).

The fifteen crisp and sophisticated color images of Paris and Rome included in the exhibit become the setting for Bossaglia's renewed quest to explore urban landscapes and investigate the fabric of metropolitan life. The shots extend his previous work and are, once again, visually impeccable.

In his critical essay Francesco Faeta observes: “Although Bossaglia's images appear sharp and conceptually strict, his methodology in achieving them is built on a wandering apprehension of the cityscapes, one that draws on Baudelaire or Benjamin's flâneur. His meandering brings him to indulge in accidental encounters and adopt a vagrant's openness; nonetheless, he also consistently retains a contemplative distance from the subject he observes (and what is most striking, one might add, is his ability to juggle these viewpoints thus generating images that are thought-provoking and original).”

Rome and Paris (as all other western cities) are colored with the work of writers or graffiti artists. Although the phenomenon is widely documented and studied, Bossaglia’s approach is markedly new. He is not interested in graffiti as a reflection of urban anthropology or of a broadening of artistic media, but rather he investigates it as a specific and original art-form that can reshape our experience of the network of enlacing streets that constitute cityscapes. The graffiti redefine marginal buildings and rewrite suburbs and slums, changing all those non-spaces (Marc Angé) that weave the fabric of daily city life.

The human beings in this collection are few and far between; they are also, however, essential as they color the background of the thick urban web. In their ephemeral presence, they often define the poetic attention to detail mentioned earlier. The people in the pictures enhance our notion of the expanse of space portrayed while highlighting the solitude it projects on them. Indeed, the people are more likely to interact with the shapes and curvatures of buildings than with other human beings and are thus reminiscent of the solitude of prime numbers, to cite Paolo Giordano. Mathematicians call such numerical entities “twin primes (...) couples of prime numbers that are almost in proximity, if there weren't another number between them forever forbidding them from touching”.

Bossaglia does not reveal the secret behind such isolation; he does, however, take our hand and guide us to our own discovery of a new piece of the metropolitan puzzle. He does so with the craftsmanship of a true poet.


Roberto Bossaglia was born in Cagliari (Italy) in 1942. He lives and works in Rome, where he also taught photography at

the Accademia di Belle Arti from 1981 to 2006.

He started working as a photographer in 1975. He produced and exhibited several collections before he began working for various publishing houses, artists and architects.

His pictures have appeared in many noteworthy magazines, among which: Domus, Abitare, Casabella, Lotus, Bauwelt, Moniteur Architecture, Composicion Arquitectonica, Area, Harper’s Bazaar.

Since 1975, his work has also featured in many private collections both nationally and internationally.

He has always balanced working on commission with his own artistic research and he has participated in many projects investigating urban landscapes, especially in Italy.

His work is featured in museums both nationally and internationally among which: Istituto Nazionale per la Grafica (Roma), DARC (Roma), Gabinetto Fotografico Comunale (Roma), Maison Européenne de la Photographie (Parigi), Bibliothèque Nationale (Parigi), Centre Canadien d’Architecture (Montréal), Museo della Fotografia Contemporanea di Cinisello Balsamo (Milano), Archivio fotografico della Regione Piemonte (Torino), Queensland College of Art (Brisbane), Archivio fotografico del Comune (Napoli), Stadt Museum (Monaco).

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from 1 October to 7 November 2015




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