Ermanno portrait
Ermanno Rivetti

Who are you? Where are you from? What do you do? 

Ermanno Rivetti – born Italian, bred in London – I’m a photographer and journalist.

Three words to describe your photographic style? 

Grainy, atmospheric, imperfect.

What makes you different? 

I like to take photographs on medium format film using very basic cameras – they’re almost toys – and I process the images using a mixture of analog and digital techniques. The results are quite unique, I think, and I’m really drawn to the fact that the images are not the perfect, sharp, bold kind that you see everywhere.

When did you discover photography? 

When I was a kid I would always go through my parents’ old things when they were out of the house. I was fascinated by these old Leica cameras that were gathering dust in those boxes, so one day I picked one up and started shooting.

Digital vs. film? 

Both, actually. I prefer to shoot with actual film because digital can never beat it, but there are aspects of digital post-production that are obviously more advanced. I’m greedy, I want the best of both worlds.

A few words about your favourite series or photograph? 

It’s difficult to have a favourite because the series are really mostly tied to a specific event or a place which are dear to me. If I had to choose though I’d probably choose “donald judd and lemonade”, which I took in Texas, or “simien”” and “orthodox christmas”, which I took in Ethiopia. They each have a good visual harmony, even lighting and a kind of continuity that binds the images together well. It’s probably because each series was shot pretty quickly. I tend to work best in short bursts.

What does ‘vision’ make you think of? 

I think of concentrating on the idea of something, a photo, a project, a mood, visualising it and then making it happen.

Do you have a vision? 

I hope so…

A new project coming up or an idea you want to work on? 

I’m showing some of my Ethiopia photos in a group show of African and African-inspired art called Afropolis, which takes place in the old White Cube in Hoxton Square, London, during Frieze week in mid-October. I’m also working on a more decorative and slightly abstract series that involves flowers and slightly psychedelic double exposures. I’ll give you a sneak preview, but only because you asked nicely. 

More Young Creatives from all over the world featured in oufifth issue on VISION (September 2014)!

by Cosima Bucarelli