You might remember Italian photographer Maurizio Di lorio from when he shot our first ever photographic cover for Printed Pages way back in 2014. If not, here’s a little hint to jog the memory: it saw a highly saturated and tongue-in-cheek still life of an orange and an egg engaged in a soft and tender embrace – an image and experience that Maurizio is particularly attached to. “That cover was the definitive crossing of a line and it sent me towards a more ‘developed’ style of photography,” he tells It’s Nice That. “Until then, I was perfecting my style and my tastes.”
Following this, Maurizio developed an impressive contacts book and has worked across numerous magazines based in Europe and the US – including GQ, Marieclaire, Refinery29, Wallpaper*, Süddeutsche Zietung Magazin, Playboy, Wired, Marc by Marc Jacobs and many more. When reminiscing over any key moments over the past five years, he says: “There wasn’t a single specific moment that I consider memorable; all these years have been filled with positive experiences.”
By incorporating objects from the everyday with an ambiguous set arrangement and distorted use of colour, Maurizio’s work requires an unfathomable yet equally satisfying double take. This has been his signature style from the get-go, and one that he’s spent time refining. “Perhaps the most substantial change in the last five years has been my willingness to search for formal perfection in creating images. Earlier on, I was much more spontaneous and instinctive, and everything was about the physicalness of the real,” he says. “I’ve learned to build my own lexicon to create images rich in implicit contrasts, trying to make seduction and repulsion coexist. I’ve worked a lot on chromatic correspondences, on the continuous and conflicting relationship between two dimensions vs three dimensions, on geometric balances.” He continues: “And finally on a specific use of light that helps me in bringing out chromatic intensities capable of increasing the images’ tactility.”
Before delving into a career of photography, Maurizio first started out in the field of copywriting. After university, his literary passions drove him towards the industry of words and, from here, he went on to build his own advertising agency. This approach to communication, combined with a poetic use of language and imagery to influence as such, steered and restored his imagination. “So I decided to sell my agency to start a new journey informed by studies and investigations of everything that has always been at the centre of my interest: from art in general, painting in the first place, to photography,” he explains.
His perception of the world is chromatic and illusory. Citing his influences from movies and magazines, he’s also inspired heavily by painters and the masters of the past – particularly the Middle Ages and the Renaissance – as well as more contemporary and abstract artists. “Recently I’ve ‘rediscovered’ Kandinksy, not only his work as a painter but also his metaphysical meditations, his way of considering art as a creation of history.”
This leads us to question the line between authenticity and the danger of an artist’s work becoming too quaint – something that Maurizio is constantly aware of. “With my aesthetic language, my work can border on kitsch but I always try to do that with awareness,” he says. “As the critic Gillo Dorfles said, ‘if there’s no cultural dimension, every form of art is destined to fall into the trap of unaware kitsch’. And, in the limits of my abilities, that’s what I’m trying to avoid.”