The first photographs by Paolo Gasparini (Gorizia, Italy, 1934) depict the social reality of post-war Italy and are linked to the aesthetic of Neo-realist Italian Cinema. At the age of 20 he migrated to Venezuela and, although the was involved professionally in architectural photography, he began to portray the country and worked on street reportages in a realist language influenced by authors such as Paul Strand, Robert Frank, and William Klein.
By virtue of his work as a photographer, Gasparini journeyed through different countries in America and Europe capturing the contradictions of the contemporary world and highlighting the social, economic, and cultural inequalities that existed. This process led him to become one of the most important photographs within the Latin American landscape. Advertising billboards, skyscrapers, modest homes, workers, the homeless, and passersby were the protagonists of a body of work that intended to link the realities of two apparently opposing worlds—the so-called “first world” and impoverished nations—in an effort to break with Eurocentric perspectives. His images can be considered photographic essays that reflect on the maelstrom of contemporary life.
Gasparini’s publication Para verte mejor, América Latina [The Better to See You, Latin America] is one of the most emblematic Latin American photo books. The author has received numerous distinctions such as the silver medal at the Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie in Arlés in 1984 and the Premio Nacional de Fotografía de Venezuela in 1993. His work can be found in the collections of institutions such as MoMA in New York and the Bibliothèque National de France in Paris.