Maria Saggese is a young light painter from Salerno, graduated at the Academy of Beautiful Arts of Naples, where she is currently studying photography. With her photography she describes her art and her way to express herself and reality, giving them a new perspective. With her photographs, always very studied, she explores the world and goes beyond the appearance. She is part of LPWA (Light Painting World Alliance), we decided to ask her a few questions.
1. Hi Maria, you are a young photographer who decided to study and test the art of light painting. Why this choice? What, in your opinion, does light painting has more than classical photography? Some time ago I had to prepare an exam for my Academy of Beautiful Arts on the light. I already knew this technique and I decided to test it. I started creating light drawings and then a created a character called “LightMan” and I created a fantastic story with light. After this project, born by chance and by play, I realized the huge creative possibilities of this technique, it makes the “invisible visible”. In fact it’s possible to throw up things that are only in our mind, which our eyes don’t see. There are no boundaries to creativity.
2. That’s why the choice to prosecute this project and this experimentation. Photography captures the instant, with light we can “create” the instant captured by the photographic mean. Is there someone or something you draw inspiration? The object of my research has always been the body. I draw inspiration mostly from the great photographers, as Man Ray who revolutionized the art of photography with his continuos experimentations, Edward Weston, one of the big photographers of the Twentieth Century, who captured the beauty of the feminine body, to the nude of the big Helmut Newton. I don’t look up at just one photographer but I observe the images of the past and present artists, the ones who mostly work with the body like the light painters Patrick Rochon and Rosetta Withehead, to search inspiration and new ideas.
3. One of the elements typical of your shots is the interaction with people. Is there a reason why you carry on this kind of shots? I think that the effects of the light should integrate with the human body, to express a sentiment, an emotion. I love to experiment with light effects on the human body, using instruments and different techniques such as double exposition to obtain “surreal” images without using post production, lasers, optical fibre etc. I think that light painting shouldn’t stop at creating light contrails but create with light to comunicate emotions.
4. Another aspect that shows through is the love for your city, Salerno. Do you have projects involving it in your mind? What would you like to do? I am very linked to my city. Even if I study in Naples, I decided to stay in Salerno and keep my passion going here, participating and organizing exhibitions and events to make this technique known. I made a performance for “M’illumino di Meno 2014” at my city’s Archeologic Museum, which I hope to repeat this year, organizing an event that can involve as many people as possible!
5. In a short while, in Paris, there will be an exhibition organized by LPWA also on the occasion of the International Year of Light announced by UNESCO. I know you, member and exponent of Italy, will take part in this big worldwide event. What do you expect from it? I am really enthusiastic about being part of “Light Painting World Alliance” and representing Italy. It will be an honor to be in Paris for this important event and having the possibility to meet in person the big artists whose works I looked up on the internet. I will be inspired by the wonderful light works. I will be there with other two Italian artists, we’ll have the chance to meet and maybe organize an event here in Italy too!
6. Compared with other light painters, even foreign ones, you are much younger so you’ll have a long future in this “world of light” ahead of you. Would you like it to be your job? Do you have any particular ambition? What do you expect from the future? I’m just 22 years old, I hope to continue my artistic path and find my way in this “world of light”. For this moment my project is to continue my studies and get my specialized graduation at the Academy of Beautiful Arts. I’d love to make my passion my job one day, working with my creativity. I look around and, despite everything else, a lot of young people made it believing in their dreams, so I will work hard to make it too and to have a “bright” future.