Pane, Amore e… Fotografia! Gina Lollobrigida, Photographer at the Palazzo delle Esposizioni

©Deborah Swain
Whilst Gina Lollobrigida is best known the world over as an actress and indeed is one of Italy’s most famous stars of the silver screen having made a string of Hollywood movies starring opposite some of the biggest leading men of the 1950s and 1960s (such as Burt Lancaster, Frank Sinatra and Yul Brynner to name but a few), she has also been a prolific photographer for the last fifty years.

At almost eighty-two, Gina Lollobrigida is still as glamorous as only a true diva from the Golden Age of Hollywood can be, and her appearance at the inauguration of a major retrospective of 250 of her photographs last night at the Palazzo delle Esposizioni was attended by the inevitable court of Italian TV media darlings. It was rather wonderful, therefore, to see Ms Lollobrigida’s willingness to answer questions about the photographs and the photographers which have influenced her - Robert Capa, Franco Fontana and fellow actor Yul Brynner, were just some of the names she mentioned - before being swept away in a cloud of VIPs.

This exhibition will take you on a dense photographic journey across the globe - Russia, India, Japan, Africa, and of course Italy - all seen through the keen eyes of a true photojournalist. She never flinches from showing the devastating effects of poverty - even, as she explained, if she suffered enormously when taking some images such as those of lepers in India - whilst at the same time cutting through the public image and exposing the humanity of some of the most famous figures of the last few decades. I particularly liked the portraits of Fidel Castro, a stunning portrait of Liv Ullman and a beautiful study of Neapolitan dramatist and actor Eduardo De Filippo.

Gina Lollobrigida, Photographer
curated by Philippe Daverio
26 June - 13 September 2009