Aurelio Amendola (born in 1938) set out as an art photographer several years ago. With an anti-rhetoric approach focused on their life and personality rather than on implicit monumentalization, he has portrayed many famous authors who followed a common path, from Marino Marini to Alberto Burri, from Carla Accardi to Giorgio de Chirico, from Roy Lichtenstein to Henry Moore.
But he has especially photographed the works of artists and art. And, it is an ascertained fact that the 20th century was especially the age of the mediated gaze, of the reproduction of works that were directly inaccessible. Hence, we owe Amendola―and few others, today―an important part of our thoughts when our mind recollects a work, whether by Michelangelo or by Jannis Kounellis.
He is aware, and teaches this in his photographic projects, that sculpture is in itself place, shape, material and, especially, soul. He knows that a sculpture is never the same, if one directly observes it repeatedly. Hence, turning the possible limitation of his language into a value, he develops photography as an exemplary exercise in criticism, that does not offer the vision, but a vision, deliberately and openly stated without claims to exhaustiveness: naturally, as long as it is an authoritative and motivated vision that is conceptually analysed and does not merely highlight aesthetics.
In other words, before becoming a photographer, Amendola was an art and photography critic, and has become an author only through this process. An author, whose works are read as if they were assays on art.
Amendola has driven photography to perceive not only the beauty seen by historians and art enthusiasts, but also the act of love that guided the cultured hand of the artist, along with the community or the client who believed in that work.
We could say that the words written by Vasilij Kandinskij, a great figure of the past century, about another famous artist, Henri Matisse, in “Concerning the Spiritual in Art”, also apply to Amendola and to many others: “He paints pictures, and in these pictures he seeks to reproduce the divine”.