Silver / 2012 / Fine Art / People_FA


  • Photographer
    Gianni Cipriano

The greatest perfection is imperfection. To Aristotle perfect meant complete, nothing to add or subtract. To Empedocles perfection depends on incompleteness since the latter possesses a potential for development and improvement. Here lies the paradox formulated by Italian Renaissance philosopher Giulio Cesare Vanini. The paradox of perfection is that imperfection is perfect. I travelled around Italy researching imperfect beauties in six different non-conventional beauty pageants and applied a color symbolism to each one: Miss Chubby, pink; Miss Trans, purple; Miss Mediterranea, yellow; Miss Plastic Surgery, fuchsia; Miss Drag Queen, orange; Miss Over, blue. Six imperfect beauties (due to their weight, clothes, excess of silicone, or age) if compared to the typology of beauty imposed by mass media and the consumerist society we live in. In Italy, in particular, beauty has become a political tool during the Berlusconi era. Since the 80�s, his media empire has introduced a culture of luxury and sex to shape his electorate. Italy became in the mean time a country where half-naked beautiful women are plucked from TV studios and elevated into powerful positions. This culture has generated an unprecedented wave of castings and beauty pageants for girls and women of all ages all over Italy. In response to the aesthetic and political state of my country, I worked on Perfect, a series of 36 photographs focusing on how the beauty dictated by our politicized consumerist society is emulated by the masses, and on the link between imperfection and perfection.

Gianni Cipriano is a documentary photographer whose work focuses on contemporary social issues and on the connection between man, its origins and the influence of mass culture. Based in New York and Palermo, Italy, Gianni’s clients and publications include The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The International Herald Trubune, Time, Le Monde,, D Repubblica, Io Donna, Ventiquattro, IL, Courrier International, Vanity Fair Italy, Diario, Esquire Russia, The Sunday Times Magazine and The British Journal of Photography, PepsiCo, Classic Media. He graduated in the 2007/08 Documentary Photography and Photojournalism Program at the International Center of Photography in New York and interned with photojournalists Ron Haviv (VII) and Christopher Anderson (Magnum Photos). He was among the “Emerging Talents” of Reportage by Getty Images and now is contributor of the agency. He has been selected for the XXI 2008 Eddie Adams Workshop in New York and since 2009 he is part of Reflexions Masterclass, an international seminar for the teaching of contemporary photography which has hosted some of the finest young authors from the world over. The seminar is conducted by Giorgia Fiorio and Gabriel Bauret. Gianni Cipriano has been nominated for the for the past three years at the Joop Swart World Press Photo Masterclass.

Besides editorial assignments and publications, Gianni has done corporate work for clients such as:
- Novartis Campus, Basel;
- Actes Sud, Arles;
- Teatro La Fenice, Venice;
- Fondazione Venezia, Venice;
- Istituto Nazionale dell Grafica, Rome;
- PepsiCo, New York.

Gianni Cipriano was born in 1983 and has lived in Italy, the United States and Switzerland. He first studied Aerospace Engineering and then Architecture at the University of Palermo, Italy, before moving to New York in 2007.