Franco Sortini is an Italian photographer born in 1958. When still very young, he felt attracted to graphic design and painting; his love for photography came soon after. In the early ’80s, not satisfied by b/w photography which was not able to fully express his creativity, he switched to color photography, under Franco Fontana’s leadership. Since 1982, Sortini has produced numerous photographic works.
Text and images © Franco Sortini
“Franco Sortini’s art is that of a landscape that is the result of a subtle alchemy that combines his vision of the natural environment with his culture, his emotions and his inner feelings. As many students of my photography courses can confirm, I never sit at the teacher’s table lecturing. I sit amongst the student’s desks. Because these courses are an opportunity for coming together and are a photographic adventure where we are all, teacher and students alike, protagonists. Together we take part in a life lesson, where photography is just an excuse to bring out a student’s sensitivity, culture, in other words, his or her identity, because she/he has to photograph what is thought, not what is seen. Among the many students I have had, I must reserve a special place for Franco Sortini, who started out as a graphic designer and a painter, and later became one of the most creative photographers who, more than others, better than most, “makes the invisible visible”, through his photographs of the urban landscape”.
– Franco Fontana
In the following years, Sortini’s research turned to urban landscape; his interest focuses primarily on the empty city, chasing his idea of the “ideal city”, a place where to find order in the chaos. He takes urban scenes of his native Italy and of Europe, and presents his photographs with an impassive spirit, always considering the feeble equilibrium between people and environment. His use of color is very appreciated for its ability to express the reality and the mediterranean light.
“Franco Sortini’s work comes up from the spaces; it is written with a wide size, so to solve the rules of perspective and the visual system each picture is provided with. classical structure, with a central, prevalent, perspective to outline the profile of a factory building, although more broadly then in architecture. His work is, in fact, focused on this very strong urban genre, where the rigor and the constructive order is resolved with a desaturated color. A color that, then, reappears with some connotations, which are almost citations, to justify the photographer’s philosophy”.
– Luigi Erba
Simultaneously with the creative photography, Sortini has developed commercial photography; in 1986 he started a studio of industrial photography, working with advertising and communication agencies and offering his services to corporate customers. Franco Sortini’s photographs have been shown in many exhibitions, published in well-known magazines, and are present in important private and public collections, including the Bibliotheque Nationale de France in Paris, the archives Afoco in Cordoba, the Galleria Civica in Modena, the Department of Contemporary Art History at the University of Siena, the Museum of the Landing in Salerno. Professional photographer since 1986, Sortini is an effective member of the Italian National Association of Professional Photographers since 1990. He currently lives and works in Salerno.