“I don’t believe that your personal and your commercial work should be two completely different things,” states London-based photographer Giovanni Corabi. Originally from Italy, this belief is evident throughout Giovanni’s portfolio: a quick flick through will leave you at a loss for where one type of project ends and the other begins, the two seamlessly flowing and informing each other.
Giovanni moved to London in 2013 to study at Central Saint Martins. Although graduating with a degree in graphic design, it was here that he discovered his love of the photographic medium. “The course was very broad and there were all sorts of artists studying with me,” he explains. “I remember in my first year doing a photography brief with David Hendley – one of the photography teachers at the time – and I loved it. He said I had potential and that I should keep on shooting, so I did.” From here, Giovanni became obsessed and, because of the freedom his course afforded him, he would “take every class and brief and turn it into a photography one.”
Giovanni’s body of work has a succinct calmness to it, his images often feeling quiet and intimate. This visuality was developed during his long-term project Boys Don’t Cry. Exploring the emotional sphere of men in relation to modern masculinity, “the project lasted almost a year and while working on it, I probably developed a personal language that you can often see come out in all of my work,” he explains.
Since graduating in 2017, Giovanni has garnered an impressive list of commissions and collaborations. “I have worked on a few things with Foxes Magazine,” Giovanni explains. “It all started with a story on the young designer, Harris Reed, who we shot in West London. He is such a creative and talented individual that the vision came together quite easily.” Throughout the series, Harris is captured in various statuesque and grande settings, wearing his own clothes, resulting in a series that feels almost regal.
This approach – allowing the individual to permeate a shoot’s concept – is evident in much of Giovanni’s work. From a lookbook for Magliano to a story with Skepta and Playboi Carti for Wonderland, his images distil his subjects’ personalities, often to a single image. Although deceptively simple in its staging, Giovanni’s work is rich due to both his casting, approach to portraiture and ability to forge a strong identity.
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