Italian photographer Mario Giacomelli is perhaps one of the most underrated photographers that I know of. Words cannot describe the kind of emotions that his work unveils within me when I see it. Much of his work, although always representational, tends to be surrealistic in nature by way of darkroom and in-camera manipulation. Now, I am usually the first to run away from abstract and Surrealist art, not my thing, but the gracefulness and subtlety Giacomelli accomplishes is just stunning. There is a solid stylistic thread that runs through all of his work, which can make it seem monotonous to the naked eye, but spend some time with it and you'll start to discover fascinating details and subtle gestures that give each picture a life of its own.
Printing with very high contrast is hard due to loss of visual depth -the process starts to take over the content- yet Giacomelli manages to handle this beautifully. He fashions the vernacular into a thrilling uncanny world reminiscent of German Expressionism (which was happening right around the time he was born). This is achieved not only by his genius use of the gray scale, but also his accumulation of geometry and motion, the abstract and the concrete, the organic and the structured. Giacomelli was a master of his medium and truly a visionary artist with a clear awareness of his medium.