RO­BERT FRANK by Pao­lo Roversi



A pro­lif ic pho­to­gra­pher, Roversi has crea­ted cam­pai­gns for Gior­gio Ar­ma­ni, Dior, Cer­ru­ti, Com­me des Ga­rçons, Yves Saint Lau­rent, Va­len­ti­no and Al­ber­ta Fer­ret­ti sin­ce be­gin­ning his pro­fes­sio­nal ca­reer in 1970. His ima­ges ma­na­ge to blur the boun­da­ries of ti­me, em­bo­dy­ing ro­man­ce, my­ste­ry and fan­ta­sy in an in­cre­di­bly fi­ne ba­lan­ce with contemporary ap­peal. Born in Ra­ven­na,he­no­wl iv e sin Pa­ris. My he­ro is Ro­bert Frank, the great pho­to­gra­pher. Of cour­se he’s not part of the fa­shion world, even if at the be­gin­ning of his ca­reer in New York he was wor­king in fa­shion - for Har­per’s Ba­zaar, with Bro­do­vit­ch and Dia­na Vree­land. But it was not real­ly his world.

He did ha­ve ano­ther en­coun­ter in f ashion, with Al­ber­to Aspe­si. In the ’80s or ’90s, Aspe­si asked Ro­bert to do an ad­ver­ti­sing cam­pai­gn for him. This went on for two or th­ree years, and it was a ve­ry free col­la­bo­ra­tion. Aspe­si sent the clo­thes to Ma­bou, Ca­pe Bre­ton, whe­re Ro­bert li­ves in a lit­tle woo­den hou­se in front of the ocean, and Ro­bert took the­se spe­cial pic­tu­res. He would put the jac­ket, the shirt on his nei­gh­bours - the fi­sher­man, the post­man - and he did the who­le cam­pai­gn ju­st on them. And this is his sty­le of li­fe .

I like his sty­le be­cau­se, for me, sty­le is not ju­st the way you put on a jac­ket. It’s the way you li­ve, it’s your at­ti­tu­de with peo­ple. He’s like an old beat­nik, a ti­me­less beat­nik. He was friends with them, and he ma­de a film with Jack Ke­rouac, Pull My Dai­sy.

His friend­ship en­du­red with Aspe­si, who ga­ve him a lot of clo­thes. I re­mem­ber Aspe­si ga­ve him a beau­ti­ful red shirt, and he wo­re it like a flag of friend­ship, be­cau­se Al­ber­to ga­ve him this shirt. He was ve­ry proud of it.

He’s an ar­ti­st, and he dres­ses as an ar­ti­st. He could be Mo­di­glia­ni or Van Go­gh, he has the sa­me kind of way.You re­mem­ber when Mo­di­glia­ni was wea­ring ju­st his vel­vet jac­ket, a lit­tle bit old? And that is Ro­bert, too, al­ways with the fir­st but­ton of his shirt open, his shirt un­tuc­ked… voi­là. It is sim­ple, but in­ten­se in a way: pan­ts are too big or too short, or big shoes - and he doe­sn’t ca­re.

It’s my sty­le too, in a way.

Sty­le is a phi­lo­so­phy, and so­me are ve­ry in­tel­lec­tual. To­meYo­h­jiYa ma mo­to, for­menm or et han­for­wo men, is a great phi­lo­so­pher. I think phi­lo­so­phy of li­fe is al­ways in the way you dress, your at­ti­tu­de in front of the world. Nei­ther Ro­bert nor his work is ever com­pro­mi­sed - he has in­te­gri­ty. And his dress is al­so ne­ver a con­ces­sion. He doe­sn’t need to ap­pear r ich or ele­gant for anyo­ne.

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