We caught up with Marco Glaviano, the Italian fashion photographer, who has photoshoot many of the world’s top models. He talks about his first NFT collection, which contains some iconic photographs from his portfolio. This is another in the series of interviews with NFT artists.
Part 1. Biography Marco Glaviano
Who are you? Where are you from?
I am Sicilian, born into a family of Artists in the middle of World War II, with bombs falling all around.
What is your background?
I started taking pictures when I was 6 years old. My favorite uncle was working in the cinema, he gave me a Leica when I was 6 and that really made it very interesting for me. It was really shiny, had all these pretty little things to turn, nice story. Other kids were playing with their little horses, and I was playing with my camera.
What type of Digital Art/NFTs do you create?
I don’t “create” NFTs. I have my photographs and for the past, more than 20 years, there has always been something digital.
In the beginning, I was very vilified for trying to do things digitally in photography. Actually, I’ve been vilified for most of the things I’ve done because for some reason I was always in the wrong time, either too early or too late, not right on time.
What made you start creating NFT Art?
I was attracted by the possibilities of the media expanding. Photography after all is pretty much primitive as a technology. It’s basically the same technology as 100 years ago, refined but no changes. You take silver alloys, crystals, and put them in the light, they blow up with light and create patterns. Then you transfer them to something, but the technology has not changed. So Digital can mean all completely new things, it’s the first time the whole thing changed. And we still take pictures with that. And I always thought they could be better. Most people were yelling that “This is the end of the world. It’s going to destroy everything.”
Like always, anytime someone invents something interesting, most people are afraid of it. Maybe because they sense that they are not smart enough to grasp it or put up with the changes, so they pull away. I don’t know, there must be a reason why. Every time someone invents something, most of the population of the world says, “Oh it’s terrible.”
I think the other way, as I am attracted by changes. I think of the possibilities. And then if it doesn’t work, you don’t do it, but you have to try.
Once, I was developing my film when I was little in my mother’s storage room, where you put all the old stuff in the house that you don’t need. I was doing my thing and at school, I was almost a professional. Moreover, I was doing my own developing of color film, which 99% of my colleagues I don’t think even know how that’s done, nor even tried to do it.
If you know what you use to make something, it gives you the possibility to express ideas. You know what you can do. If you don’t know the tools, you can’t do it. I always thought to be a photographer means to be a craftsman. It’s like a mason or a carpenter. It’s the same thing, you must know how to make something. And if you don’t know how to make something, firstly I think it’s unethical because you’re trying to sell something you don’t have. That also limits your creativity because if you don’t know how to make something, how can you think of doing it? It’s impossible.
I think I spent half of my life in a dark room. That’s maybe why I don’t have big muscles, I wasn’t doing many sports.
When digital arrived, I thought it was a great change and a great opportunity. Of course, I had no idea that one-day people would be a farting cat (ref Nyan Cat) for $600,000. This is the bad side of things. There is always a bad side to everything. It’s quite pathetic, but it doesn’t matter because most people are not educated so now, they have a new toy and they think they can make money with it and do whatever they think is right. That is the bad side of something new, I am sure there is a lot of good with it too.
When they invented the atomic bomb, it was made to kill people. But in the end, nuclear energy is very important to humankind — and eventually will be again.
This is the same thing. There are some negative sides to this, but in general, it’s good.
What I like about NFTs is that the creator of this thing is going to be in touch with his/her work for the duration of its existence. Hopefully, this will have a serious impact on a lot of people who are thinking now that since they are dealers, they are better than the artist.
Now we have a phenomenon where the galleries, sometimes don’t even have a physical gallery anymore. They are even more famous than the artists that they represent. I think this is blasphemy.
The gallery is a merchant. Some people sell fish, some people sell art. The guy who has a fish store sells the best fish, so he’s the best fish seller in the world. Doesn’t mean he’s a fish, he’s selling it. I’m not going to name names, because everyone knows, but these people have the attitude that they are famous, and the artist is not. And they take all the money!
So maybe this is way and the future out of this? I know that my uncle Severini the Futurist who was the greatest artist of the last century, immensely famous, he died poor! His galleries were super rich, but he was seriously poor when he died. So, there must be something wrong there.
What motivates you to continue creating Digital Art?
It’s not that I create digital art. Some of my pieces could be considered digital art, like Paulina Mickey Mouse, but I created it 20 years, long before NFT was even a concept. I like to play with my pictures and do something different with it. But we had no idea that someday people would buy these things on a platform that I still don’t totally understand. It’s because I’m curious. I’ve done so many things I had to throw away because they were not good afterwards, but at least you do it.
The core thing is a picture, an image. Then you can enhance it or manipulate it.
What happened is that traditional photography died, on the day that digital came in. It’s a very powerful tool, which has been widely abused with horrible results, but it gives the possibility to do something which is not just photography.
In other words, it’s like painting now. You imagine something and you make it. It’s a very different thing.
I would say we should discuss photography in different periods. Early – the maturity of photography let’s say – from 1930s until 1980, where people created really great powerful images with photography. Then computers came in, the algorithms, the damned iPhone—which is the worst thing to probably happen after the nuclear bomb, but of course, I cannot last 5 minutes without mine.
All the things that are terrible, you get addicted to. I smoke. If cigarettes didn’t exist, I wouldn’t smoke. Same thing. I am addicted to the iPhone like everybody else but I wish they never invented it. So, everybody takes “so-called” great pictures.
To me, the worst side effect is what we call background noise.
How can you see one picture when there are billions made every day?
How do you know which is interesting, and what is not? What is relevant, and what is not? Everyone is taking pictures. And where are they going? In the cloud. So there are billions of billions of pictures hovering in the cloud over our heads, and when they fall down, we get hurt. Boom, from the cloud, there comes a picture of Kim Kardashian. Boom you fall on the floor and can’t get up for a while.
This is the problem. Before, people like Kim Kardashian wouldn’t exist. It’s impossible. Imagine all these little super famous people now in the times of Grace Mirabella or Diana Vreeland in American Vogue, if they’d look at their pictures they would vomit. Now they are on the covers of magazines. It’s terrible. Those people are really tasteless. I don’t want to get into the beauty part which is another conversation we can have separately.
Part 2. Art in focus
What makes your NFT Art unique?
I’m a photographer coming into the NFT space. Being familiar with digital photography, maybe it was easier for me to start looking into it. Because most photographers, the serious ones, don’t know much about digital. So I guess this space is being filled with people who take iPhone photos and things like that. For me it was pretty simple to understand what a digital art piece is, since I invented most of digital photography at the beginning.
I guess it’s only because I’m familiar with the media. Basically, they are still my pictures.
How do you want people to feel when they view your Art?
It’s not about when they see “My pictures”. When they see any form of art, the job of the art and the reason it exists is to make people happy.
That why art has been with mankind since the cavemen, always.
For some reason, humankind’s first instinct is to kill everything that moves, which is terrible. But the second thing is they like beautiful things. So, if you can distract the people from killing each other and look at beautiful things, then we have a better place to live, you know? Therefore, if people are busy painting, drawing, and looking at beautiful women, or animals, or beautiful landscapes, they have less time to kill each other. Thus, I think artwork is very important.
Part 3. Marketing
What does the future hold for you and your Digital Art?
The future holds so much. In every sense. I’m not so pessimistic as so many people who see a future of famine, hunger, wars, and pestilence. I think that after all, these little monkeys are going to be able to do something good about it, eventually. But it’s going to take time. My only regret about my mortality is that I am not going to see the new things. They are going to be wonderful.
I was born on a mountain during the war. There was no water or electricity. Forget about a telephone. We couldn’t even imagine a telephone, or “Oh God” a TV. When we saw the first radio we thought “Wow this is amazing” scratchy and and everything. This makes me think things are going to get really really interesting.
I like technology. I like all the fun things. My only regret is missing seeing the next big thing. The future, I think, is bright. Eventually it’s bright.
As for my digital art, more is coming.
Where can people buy your Digital Art? Have you had any interesting sales?
How can people contact you directly?
You can contact via email@example.com
Or follow Marco Glaviano on his social media.
We would like to thank Marco Glaviano for taking time out to speak to us. He really is one of the world’s renowned photographers and we are humbled that he would deem to give us time. Head over to pinhole.art to view his NFT collection.