Faces of Africa
Exhibition: – 25 Aug 2012
Sat 9 Jun 17:00
gCS Galerie Cultural Speech
1057 EA Amsterdam
This summer, gallery Cultural Speech presents the first solo exhibition in the Netherlands by photographer Mario Marino (born in Austria in 1967, lives and works in Germany.)
For the photographic study Faces of Africa, the artist travelled to the south of Ethiopia where he photographed various ethnic groups in their original habitat. The portraits examine the position of authentic cultures in an increasingly globalized Africa, without reverting to the cliché images of the western tourist industry. It was with this series of portraits that Mario Marino made his debut as an autonomous artist.
The photographs in Faces of Africa are a reflection of contemporary African life, extracted from influences of the western tourism industry. Equipped with nothing more than his camera, Mario Marino explored markets and town squares in the Omo river valley in Southern Ethiopia, where the cultural roots of Africa are still strongly present. He photographed the people exactly as he encountered them in the streets. His portraits are genuine and confronting, and emanate a timeless aesthetics. Both the subject of Faces of Africa and Marino’s working method remind of Richard Avedon’s project ‘American West’.
Marino’s photoseries was nominated for the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize in 2011. The artist took part in the annual group exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London, and one of his photographs was chosen for the cover of the exhibition catalogue. That same year, Blurb published a book of the complete series Faces of Africa.