Ivan Terranova
January 2, 2021

Carlo Traini

(San Benedetto del Tronto, 1964)
I was first attracted by the Arts during military service; an attraction later developed into a curious fascination for painting and photography only after 1985. Though that first creative impulse revealed itself to be shortlived - just a few years later, in 1997, I would stop taking photos altogether with my old camera, I still managed to bring forward and mature a personal journey and research through very few B/W rolls, some polaroids and my meeting with an iconic photographer of the 20th century. I have no intention of merely illustrate what's out there; I instead always try to write sudden, abrupt stories with my photos and my smartphone allows me to do just that. I call them "photoequivalences" since my pictures spawn just from what little free will you're still able to have left and the dichotomy between my inner chaos and myself - all of this without forgetting my everlasting metaphysical research.

“No image will ever tell whether us humans are tests subjects or keepers of Time, but it can lead us towards understanding
what dwells inside each of our souls."
(Carlo Traini)

project description



Promenade’s pictures are without a doubt part of the humanistic side of photography.
In Promenade, people are not merely treated as objects in a scene; conversely, my pictures are taken when I feel these subjects become their most natural selves, a moment usually deemed not worthy of attention by most.
I’m catching the instant in which they’re contemplating something, dealing with their anxieties or sharing their joy, feeling some kind of burden for being/not being where they want, or just wanting to be somebody or somewhere else. All subjects are thinking about hope, fear, an illness, some relative of theirs who lives far away. In that sense, I am there with them, searching for those moments.
A typical subject for me is something extraordinarily normal living their daily routine, something only a few people want to (or even have time to) observe: that’s why each photo is dedicated to the subject represented in it. This lyricism is also further explored with a message directed to all of Promenade’s protagonists. These pictures unwillingly take part of demonstrating their impossibility of truly being alone – they testify that one person has walked alongside them, and captured their little glimpse of life, forever. They are links of a chain I drag with me, pearls of an intriguing necklace I wear everytime I see, recognize, and finally shoot, celebrating the magnitude and diversity of the human emotion.
All my inspirations stem from my care for mankind, and the inherent complexity of its nature. These photos are meant to fix one’s memory on imperceptible things, in order to make them survive the indifference of time, flattener of all emotions.

Promenade #1, 2020 © Carlo Traini
Promenade #2, 2020 © Carlo Traini
Promenade #3, 2020 © Carlo Traini
Promenade #4, 2020 © Carlo Traini
Promenade #5, 2020 © Carlo Traini
Promenade #6, 2020 © Carlo Traini
Promenade #7, 2020 © Carlo Traini
Promenade #8, 2020 © Carlo Traini
Promenade #9, 2020 © Carlo Traini
Promenade #10, 2020 © Carlo Traini
Promenade #11, 2020 © Carlo Traini
Promenade #12, 2020 © Carlo Traini
Promenade #13, 2020 © Carlo Traini
Promenade #14, 2020 © Carlo Traini
Promenade #15, 2020 © Carlo Traini
project presentation

This is the concept

"Warm greetings to everyone. In 2020, right after the end of the first lockdown, I suddenly started working at the Promenade project in Italy. Its impactful start was due to a sudden urge I had to let out, something so infinitesimally small inside all the people I saw, yet too often unnoticed or forgotten, in my opinion. I shot all these pictures with my own smartphone, at the beach, trying to capture every moment in which people walked by me – strangers or not – trying to capture those brief thoughts, those peculiar human conditions that people can’t help but convey while they wander with their minds, ignoring their surroundings. Why do I think this project is so important? It’s because after the end of the lockdown, for the first time in a long time in Italy people finally found themselves and their free will, wearing just their own skin, their own tattoos, walking barefoot in these sand trails and leaving their own footprints. While strolling on this beach (or Promenade, as I call it) I find these footprints – they make me question myself while I fill them in with my own feet, trying to internalize something coming from the people that left them, their energy, their spirit. That’s how I let all these pictures come to me; I never actively searched for them – rather, I gathered them every time the opportuinity seemed fit not to freeze one moment, per se, instead to expand it. I wanted to make sure it was possible for those moments to somehow last forever, and for me to be the silent keeper of them all, while the very people who spawned them kept gazing at the horizon, or kept talking to other people. Paraphrasing what the poet Lucilio Santoni has written about my Promenade, we can think that this is a journey that leads to the discovery of how sweet and magnificent it is to just live; that’s where all the magic resides. Each and every one of the bodies I show in my photos carry their own memories, landscapes, words – they belong to themas they belong to all the people they are close to. That’s the main concept I wanted to express and convey. It is like if I had tried to get a confession from these people, made of skin, tattoos and imperfections of a life lived; I then keep them all in my time-capsule, just to take them out again sometime later and show how beautiful our future was, already visible in all those pictures taken years and years before. I observe this walking humanity as if it was a journey, or something that bounds, a humanity walking by my side and that I love and feel; when I observe, I am just walking together with those people. Also all my seashore encounters are journeys without home, trails and boundaries that define all experiences in every one of us. With these pictures in Promenade, I can see the amazement of an expressed truth. I think that everything that presents to us is always a reality that is the same for everyone – the truth is instead subjective, and deeply personal. As beauty is in the eye of the beholder, truth lies in the past of whoever is observing; that’s how every truth coming from all the people at the beach resounds within myself, as if they all had an appointment with life and I could choose to keep its memory, while eternally expanding itself and offering others the possibility to interact with it. In every picture in Promenade there’s a possibility to find yourself – I kindly invite you to think about which one you recognize yourself in the most. Thank you all for your time and attention; I will see you soon! "