A genius with a lens, Marco Glaviano has raised fashion photography to the rank of major artwork. If his impressive career has brought together the biggest names to the world and been published in the most important publications, the unique character of his work lives without doubt in the intensity and erotic-dramatic dimensions of his portraits.
Born in Palermo, Sicily in 1942, Marco Glaviano has always been interested in art. Graduate of architecture, a stage designer and a music-lover, he could easily have had a career in the design world, or become a jazz musician, but it was to photography he finally dedicated himself in 1962. That world, his love of jazz that never left him - a photographed series of photos of jazz musicians in 2007 is connected to this.
After dedicating himself full-time in photography in 1967, he started working for the most important fashion magazines before moving to New York in 1975 to become one of the major photographers of legendary magazines "Vogue" and Harper's Bazaar. A true workaholic, his work eventually extended back to Europe with magazines such as Italian Vogue or Vanity Fair before working in the 80's with Elite Model Agency photographing the most prestigious top models including: Paulina Porizkova, Iman, Joan Severance, Anneliese Seubert, Yasmeen Ghauri, Tatiana Sorokko, Eva Herzigova, and Cindy Crawford. Today considered one of the greatest photographers in the world, Marco Glaviano can focus his work on pleasure and brings something to shares with us through the pages of his beautiful new artbook and his exhibition in December in St Barth organized by Space Gallery.
Marco Glaviano Claudia Schiffer, 1991. Photographed for VOGUE magazine Italy edition 1991
What first brought you to St Barth and when?
I came for the first time in December 72. A friend of mine who was DA for GQ, had taken great pictures on beautiful beaches. At the time there was nothing here. I came back 4 times in 6 months and brought American Vogue here. St Barts is my favorite place and I have traveled all over the world. I come as often as possible.
Who have you most enjoyed working with during your career?
There are 4 or 5 models that remain dear to my heart, although I cannot give them an order of preference because they are all so different: Paulina Poriskova, Cindy Crawford, Eva Herzigova, Satya Arteau and the one who became my wife 23 years ago, Lisa Glaviano. They have all really inspired me and it is me who brought all of them here for the first time.
Marco Glaviano Cindy Crawford, 1991
Marco Glaviano Lisa Glaviano, St Barth, St Jean, 1978
Can you tell me about your exhibition planned in St Barts this winter?
January is the anniversary of my 40th birthday in St Barts taking photos on this island. Half of my favorite pictures were made here. I want to pay tribute to the island that has given me so much. Forty years ago I also had a very strong relationship with St Barths. The island was not yet a big tourist destination and I was extremely well received. This January three galleries will present my work simultaneously: Space SBH (Space Gallery St Barth), The Guanahani and Val'n Team at Tom Beach. My book will be launched on Dec. 28 at the Guanahani. For this occasion, Bruno Magras also agreed to be photographed for the book and wrote a few words of introduction. Not more than 100 signed and numbered copies with original pictures will be published. It is hoped that some models presented in the book will come to honor us with their presence.
You could have become a jazz musician, what is the relationship between music and photography?
The bond is strong because they are two forms of art based on harmony and sense of beauty. I hate pictures made to impress. The music is as universal as the picture, there is something special between a beautiful photo and a beautiful sound: the emotion generated is universal!
What would you say to the people of St Barth?
I thank them very much for their generosity and simplicity during the 40 years they have welcomed me here. They have succeeded, despite the evolution of the island, to maintain respect for nature, honesty and a certain lifestyle.
Marco Glaviano Eleonora Abbagnato (St Barth), 2005