Photographing things that change – an interview with Mattia Zoppellaro

Rovigo is a city in Veneto that recently became famous for winning the title of “most boring city of Italy”. Since I was born there and since I live there for now, I can’t actually say it’s the most lively, and most interesting city ever. But I do think it has more qualities than it may seem.
Among those (and maybe most importantly), the fact that it has a good number of people remarkably talented in the main artistic fields. And that these people, despite their successes, have kept their humility intact.
This is one of the reasons why this time I wanted to interview one of these talents, one of the most important names born in Polesine: Mattia Zoppellaro.

I met Mattia a couple of years ago, on the doorway of a little pub in Rovigo, while we were smoking, hiding from the thick, freezing humidity typical of Rovigo winters. I didn’t remotely knew who he was, though I was in awe of his tallness – majestic. So, like always, I started quite the rambling chat. I remember – still amused to this day – I asked him, at some point: “So you’re a photographer? Good to know – leave me your contact, I could use a good photographer, one never knows”
Only the day after, visiting his website, I discovered that he shoot some of the most known and representative photos of Patti Smith. In fact Mattia Zoppellaro worked with some of the most important magazines you can think about: Rolling Stone, Sunday Times Magazine, GQ, Vanity Fair, Mojo, El Pais Semanal and many others. He portrayed the great names of music and then some more – thus becoming one of the best italian portraitists in the world.
So I met with him, in Rovigo’s typical rural context, to do this video-interview in which he will tell us about his relationship with photography, with irony, about the most important encounters of his life and some curiosities:

 

Francesco Cossiga by Mattia Zoppellaro

Francesco Cossiga winces

 

Depeche Mode by Mattia Zoppellaro

“When I photographed Depeche Mode I had not heard a thing by them, except Swiss Made”

 

Giulio Andreotti by Mattia Zoppellaro

Giulio Andreotti: “…you see this almost grotesque static nature of his”

 

From Dirty dancing reportage

From Dirty dancing reportage, about european rave party

 

Dal reportage Straight outta pikine

From Straight outta pikine reportage, about Senegar hip hop

 

Lou Reed by Mattia Zoppellaro

Lou Reed: “…he turned out to be an extremely charming person, in the darker meaning of the term”

 

Patti Smith by Mattia Zoppellaro

Patti Smith: “It was charming, her being essentially this punk mom.”

 

Johnny Rotten by Mattia Zoppellaro

Johnny Rotten: “he was a soccer enthusiast, we had the longest chat on Arsenal”

 

Jarvis Cocker by Mattia Zoppellaro

Jarvis Cocker: “very talented when posing”

 

Dario Argento fotografato da Mattia Zoppellaro

Dario Argento: “I was always a big fan of him”

 

Wes Anderson by Mattia Zoppellaro

Wes Anderson: “He is very private, to say the least”

 

From Pavee reportage

From Pavee reportage, about Irish gypsies: “it’s my first – lets say – mature reportage in a way”

 

From Pavee reportage

From Pavee reportage, about Irish gypsies

 

From Pavee reportage

From Pavee reportage, about Irish gypsies

 

Mattia Zoppellaro with Bono Vox

Mattia Zoppellaro with Bono Vox

 

Mattia Zoppellaro with Lou Reed

Mattia Zoppellaro with Lou Reed

 

For more about Mattia: www.mattia-z.com

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