The journey "Good and evil: the two forces that move mankind" begins in a forest at dawn, the favourite moment of Franco Taranto, the photographer of light, who captures the magic of nature's awakening with the sunrise and gives voice to the places and what is usually found deep in everyone's soul: feelings, thoughts, hopes and fears.
In the woods of wild Sardinia and the Roman countryside, the artist brings to life the union between human beings, nature and animals. In fact, one glimpses from afar a figure in a white dress, pure and almost angelic, surrounded by four wolves, animals usually associated with an idea of danger, but which here instead represent a symbol of defence and alliance that recalls the legend of the birth of Rome. Shortly afterwards, the model is depicted in a red dress which, together with the proximity of the wolves, recalls one of the most famous fairy tales in the world, 'Little Red Riding Hood'; she represents the symbol of innocence and naivety, which sooner or later disappears to make way for curiosity and independence, but risks becoming the victim of people's wickedness and cunning. Further on, a sensual figure can be glimpsed, adorned with a bodice, a headdress with elegant horns and angel wings, all in black.
These three figures symbolise the stages of life and how much the situations we experience change us, leading to the transformation of a pure and angelic woman into a strong and sometimes wounded mythological creature, bringing to mind the antagonistic figure from Sleeping Beauty, Maleficent. She is a beautiful young fairy creature with large, powerful wings, who resides in a peaceful realm in the company of fantastic creatures living in symbiosis and harmony with nature. This almost perfect picture is interrupted when she is betrayed by the man she had fallen in love with, an event that triggers within her a yearning for revenge that leads her to become an evil witch.
These themes are very dear to Franco Taranto, who is a spokesman for the importance of love and respect for oneself and others, but also for culture, art, nature and the female figure. The photographer is the founder and president of the non-profit association Victims of Beauty, founded in 2017 and based in Massagno, in the city of Lugano, and aimed at improving the conditions of women victims of violence. In the same year, the artist received a prestigious award for the campaign presented at Palazzo Marino "Victims of Beauty: Silence kills Dignity", recognised as the best anti-violence campaign on women for creativity, originality, social message and support for Italian-Swiss cooperation.
Through photographic shots and videos created during 18 dawn shootings, Franco Taranto in his work "Good and Evil: the two forces that move humanity" takes the viewer to a locus amoenus governed by a waterfall in the Ticino area, the artist's adopted territory and which he enhances in each of his shots thanks to his romantic and sensitive Italian origins. In the pool of water at the foot of the waterfall, angelic figures bathe, refreshing themselves in a bucolic dance at dawn. The only sound that governs the scene is the sound of water, the music of nature. The angels here become almost mythological figures: they have large wings, emphasising their divine dimension, and a headdress with horns, symbolising their human and earthly side, in which they sometimes lose themselves in pleasures, selfishness and sins. Ending this paradisiacal scene is the arrival of a black angel, beautiful and powerful, who takes part in the refreshing bath, initiating a confrontation with the white angel: the two figures assume poses that recall Leonardo da Vinci's Vitruvian Man, a famous representation of the ideal proportions of the human body, revised by the photographer in a modern key. The reference to the Vitruvian Man exemplifies the human and divine dimension of the angels represented by Franco Taranto: this figure in fact demonstrates how the body can be harmoniously inscribed in the two 'perfect' figures of the circle, symbolising Heaven and divine perfection, and the square, symbolising the Earth.
After a long confrontation between the two angels, who present the same positions and unfold their wings looking up to the sky, the black angel takes a violin in his hand, also black, and begins to play a sweet melody, while the white angel begins to lie on the ground grieving but aware of his destiny. The atmosphere changes, is obscured by a gentle mist that refers to two places in antithesis, heaven and hell. It is the end of humanity, on the last violin note led by the black angel. But at a certain point everything becomes clear again, there is no longer anyone around, everything is silent, as it was in the beginning. And high above from afar we catch a glimpse of a group of angels who are slowly descending to earth, and the cycle continues...
Photographer: FRANCO TARANTO @francotaranto_photographer
Agency: NEW FACES MODEL AGENCY LUGANO @nfmodelagency_swiss
Makeup Artist: FRANZISKA LERCH @franziskalerch
Model: MIHAELA STEFANITA @mihaela_stefanita