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“Social networks didn’t exist yet, and I think this was important in my formation because mine is the last generation before this epochal change,” explains Piero Corvo. “People went out with friends, stood on the street and lived life. In simplicity, moments of unrepeatable lightheartedness could arise.”

It is this childhood on the streets of Aversa, a small town a few kilometres away from Naples, far away from the distractions of the digital age that may explain Piero’s fascination with people and the world around him.

He wasn’t brought up consumed with a diet of social media, but instead with the streets, the outdoors, and travel. He would explore his surroundings and look on with curious eyes at the faces that would pass him by and wonder about the lives they lead.

This is evident in Piero’s photography, where he manages to connect you to different cultures through his lens. For a moment his images allow you into the lives of others and set fire to your imagination, as you narrate the story of their existence in your mind.

Piero himself hesitates to call himself a photographer. For him, it is a pastime that has helped him at times escape from his reality. Graduating in Marketing and currently working for a clothing brand as a Partnership Manager, Piero spends his time outside of work travelling throughout the world, to places such as Vietnam, Transylvania, New Orleans and beyond, capturing the essence, authenticity and reality of these places.

Whilst Naples a place that Piero describes as being complicated with a fragile beauty, will always be. home, it is travel that truly consumes him. Since a young age, he has been lucky enough to explore parts of the world that have intrigued him, and it is an endeavour that continues to this day. 

Throughout his travels, he has met and connected with different cultures, heard their stories and captured their lives. There have been many experiences along the way that he carries with him, but the most significant one which had a profound effect on him was during a trip to Palestine.

“I was in Hebron, one of the most complicated cities in the West Bank. Hebron is located in the West Bank territories militarily occupied by Israel following the Six-Day War, considered illegal by international law.” It was here that he would witness first-hand the complicated and devastating relationship between Palestine and Israel and the effect it has on those who live there.

Piero’s photography is incredibly cinematic, and he takes much of his inspiration from film, art and the world around him. He is a creative mind, who has an endless passion for music, playing rock and blues in his band pain, enjoying exhibitions and planning his next adventure. He is an engaging and fascinating personality with a beautiful turn of phrase. We sat down to learn more about his photography, his thoughts on Naples and the impact his travels have had on him.

Naples knows how to be extremely dramatic, tragicomic and universal.

Naples is a unique city. If I had to describe it in one sentence, I would say that it is a city suspended between beauty and drama.

Naples knows how to be extremely dramatic, tragicomic and universal. It is one of those places where everyone can feel at home, even those who come from far away.

In the infinite beauty of its millenary streets, you can sense a certain humanity that is impossible to describe. Of course, it is also a very complicated city, but even in this, it knows how to be extremely sincere.

In recent years, tourism has made Naples slightly different, and I think this is not exactly a good thing. Gentrification has certainly revalued some very difficult areas, but it has also posed a huge dilemma for its citizens. It is as if it has lost some of its authenticity, showing a face that is sometimes stereotyped, sometimes exaggerated. But even in all this, it is possible to discern its theatrical and fragile beauty. Naples is a place that holds a thousand worlds.

I have always been a very curious person and I find that photography helps me to know what I don’t know yet.

I think my passion for photography is a consequence of a growing interest in certain arts, cinema in particular. But I remember that I bought my first camera on the advice of a very dear friend of mine, who is now a photographer extraordinaire.

It was a time when I was going through a big family mourning and art was helping me escape from all that. Travel helped me a lot. I have always been a very curious person and I find that photography helps me to know what I don’t know yet.

That is why I prefer to photograph in places and situations far from home because it helps me discover the beauty of diversity and belonging to a universal world that knows no limits.

I find it much more difficult to photograph a city like Naples than a city I have never been to before. But this is a problem I would like to deal with in the future.

There is nothing more beautiful than to be inspired by them.

In general, my style is encapsulated in what photographers call ‘street photography’. I actually hate this term and do not like to be called a photographer. 

What I am constantly looking for is the thread that unites the world. We are all different, but we are also part of the same boundless universe. My photography aims to connect these dots, trying to find flashes of humanity in different places around the globe, connecting human beings.

My tagline until a few months ago was ‘visit places, photograph people’. Today I have replaced the term people with humans.

I think it is people who inspire me. But beyond that, I continue to be inspired by cinema and generally by all the art around me. I have never taken photography courses, but I have seen thousands of photographs by the great masters and I believe there is nothing more beautiful than to be inspired by them.

I remember when I first saw Henri Cartier-Bresson’s photographs I was shocked. How could a man capture such extraordinarily unrepeatable moments? I still think about it today, but I think there is no answer.

The people, the music and the growing energy is extraordinary.

I have been lucky enough to travel since I was little, thanks to my sport. I did taekwondo and this led me to travel often in various regions of Italy but also in Europe.

Growing up, I carried within me a passion for travel and I have always invested a lot of money in this. I believe that the world is unique and that every place, even the ugliest, can contain beauty. In recent years I have traveled quite a bit and had many meaningful experiences. 

I remember a trip I took to the United States two years ago. I visited several cities, including New Orleans. Everything I saw before my eyes seemed crazy to me. I loved photographing in that city. The people, the music and the growing energy is extraordinary.

One evening I photographed a crowd of people, there were police and firefighters. As you get closer you ask what had happened: a man decided to take his crocodile for a walk through the streets, causing panic and fear throughout the neighbourhood. I had a lot of fun photographing those scenes.

I was recently in Vietnam and was lucky enough to photograph a peasant family from Sa Pa, in the north of the country. I remember these photos that I took at sunset, the faces were of a unique beauty. Everyone contributed to the harvest, even the children. Everything seemed suspended, despite the movement of the bodies. During those moments I took some of my most beautiful photographs. They haven’t been published yet, but every time I see them again, they excite me.

I believe that all this helps me understand the world, even the worst experiences.

Hebron is one of the places where the reality of the Zionist occupation materialises in the crudest way. Here the State of Israel has established, de facto, a rigid military protectorate, which subjects the Palestinian citizens who reside there to continuous and incessant limitations on freedom and oppression of rights.

The sense of anguish began to pervade me and the air was really heavy. I don’t know if it was really dangerous, but that day I felt several times a sense of danger that I had never felt before.

There were controls everywhere, armed men at every corner. I was with a guide and at a certain point the man decided to show us a recently built wall, designed to separate the Israeli territories from the Palestinian ones.

An Israeli soldier saw us and began to humiliate our guide verbally and then physically by pushing him. Then he pointed the rifle at him and ordered him to move away from that area. I was helpless in the face of all that, I had never seen scenes like that. He reassured us, that European citizens are untouchable and have many more rights than the Palestinians who live there. I was horrified and disgusted by it all.

We thought nothing else could happen, we felt alienated, and it wasn’t the reality we were naturally used to living. It was a reality no man should ever have to experience. As we headed back some soldiers came out of the control booth to block the passage. The threat? Three children. The soldiers began to undress one of them. Astonished, we approached and noticed that a child was wearing a t-shirt on which there was a drawing depicting a gun. Nothing was more paradoxical than that scene that unfolded before us.

The child, clutching his white t-shirt in his hand, continued to argue in vain with the soldiers. In fact, there was no possible dialogue. That day, that child was stripped of his dignity forever. The design of that weapon became a real threat and those young armed soldiers had the duty to defuse it. The reality turned again. In that place no one and nothing really existed. I have several photos of that unforgettable day.

I believe that all this helps me understand the world, even the worst experiences.

Thank you so much for the wonderful Piero Corvo

Instagram: @pierocorvophoto

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