This excluisve interview with photographer Sam Scott Schiavo was conducted by Nicola Linza April 2010 in Vienna.
Flesh and Blood – The photography of Sam Scott Schiavo
The great Luchino Visconti created a tension and sensuality that is at once sexual, and at the same time raw, brutal and unresolved in his 1960 film Rocco e i suoi fratelli. This duality and complexity is exemplified by the star Rocco played by Alain Delon. What this film shows is that in life there are many sides to a story. These aspects especially pertain to male experiences of desire as well as growth, expansion, fight, flight, ruination and disintegration, and yes rebirth. These many aspects lead to seeing, and in such visionary moments, we often examine ourselves.
Visconti’s oeuvre is an example of a body of work that seeks perfection, as a highly controlled device in a continual search for a new realism, which is at once fresh yet leads to a déjà vu recognisability. In photography the imagery creates a psychological moment, it tells a story of a situation one that is often highly suggestive and often amplifies the realities of the mind of the viewer. The hidden aspects of sexuality and the often-masked complexities of the psyche become relevant.
A prime example of how photography handles these complexities of expansion, disintegration and exposure to me is displayed in the work of my friend fashion photographer Sam Scott Schiavo. His portfolio is refined, controlled and sensual …completely free from constraint while handling beauty and brutality in its handling of the moment …its true flesh and blood.
In the essence of Visconti’s masterpiece Rocco e i suoi fratelli, its primary focus on men and the male condition and masculine psyche, for Manner of Man I met up with Schiavo in Vienna. I wanted to open up an abstract dialogue and voyeuristically view the mind behind his lens, and while putting this piece together I could not get the picture of Rocco (Alain Delon) out of my mind, because his intensity and emotion in the film is the flesh and blood that remains with one ...long after the film is over.