“Spada’s images of young women are highly charged; there is a tension at play, a sense that something is amiss.”
Allie Haeusslein, Director Pier 24, San Francisco, USA



‘Spada’s book – self-published, stapled together, a brilliant combination of the roughhewn with the exquisite – is a memorial for a dead girl, a cri de coeur for vulnerable young women and a penetrating examination of the social ills resulting from a corrupt and rotten political system.’
Martin Parr / Gerry Badger, The Photobook: A History, Vol.III – Phaidon


"It's exciting to name a hundred and seventy-three new Guggenheim Fellows," said Guggenheim Foundation president Edward Hirsch. These artists and writers, scholars and scientists, represent the best of the best. Each year since 1925, the Guggenheim Foundation has bet everything on the individual, and we're thrilled to continue to do so with this wonderfully talented and diverse group. It's an honor to be able to support these individuals to do the work they were meant to do."

2011/2017 

Previous Guggenheim Fellows include Robert Frank, Cindy Sherman, John Gossage, Edward Weston, Diane Arbus amongst others.

Valerio Spada

Upcoming exhibitions:
Benrubi Gallery, NYC, solo TBA, 2019;
Museum of Modern Art SF MoMA, San Francisco,
The impact of Guggenheim Fellowship on history of Photography, 2020, TBA, Book (Aperture) and Group Exhibition





i-D no.352
Summer Issue 2018 


ADOLESCENTS IN MARSEILLE
Valerio Spada chronicles the lives of teenagers of the melting pot port city of Marseille.
One of Europe's most deprived areas, but also a city full of light, energy and beauty.

PHOTOGRAPHER VALERIO SPADA STYLING MICHELLE CAMERON


“I feel drawn to port cities. There's a special something there that tourists fail to see, or just aren't into seeing. I’m intrigued by places which are often out of reach to the tourist’s eye. I’m intrigued by those who live in those places and, above all, by the dignity I encounter in the adolescents who are living in urban environments abandoned by the government. More often than not it is about their beauty – which transcends gender – and the ways in which they inhabit these areas. In Marseille this is the Felix Pyat area, one of the poorest and most dangerous in Europe. It’s north of the city, removed from the sea and all the tourists. To my eyes it was like a replica of Scampia, in Naples, also out of sight and away from the coast. In these places, where time runs slower, I will always nd individuals willing to connect in one way or another. In the encounter I’m reminded of the ways in which human beings resonate with, and impact, each other. When I work I never go for a day or two. I move to the place and make it my home. Only by experiencing what life is like, I have a chance to capture it in my photos. I spent my time training at a gym during my stay in Marseille. I made many friends and a couple of enemies amongst ghters I trained with. I had a muscle tear, following a long and intensive training ten days. I could hardly walk as a result, so I spent a couple of awesome days with some friends who visited me from Milan with their six daughters. We looked like characters out of a Jarmush movie by the sea. I hope my images show both the diversity and equality I believe Marseille represents. Now that I know the city a bit better, I feel I can say this, without oversimplifying the issue. For what concerns the people portrayed, I am sure they will tell your readers about honesty, beauty, a little failure and despair, ghting no matter what. You just need to look into these great people’s silent eyes.” Valerio Spada.


        



I AM NOTHING


SOLO EXHIBITION CURATED BY FRANCESCO ZANOT

       'Gomorrah Girl' and 'I am nothing' are the main series produced by the young photographer Valerio Spada. Thanks to the first series, he made himself known throughout the world in 2011, while he has recently brought the second to a close thanks to the support of a grant from the Guggenheim Foundation in New York. Both revolve around the study of the most typical and yet obscure aspects of the major Italian criminal organizations: the Neapolitan Camorra and the Sicilian Mafia. And yet these are not mere reportages, but combine truth and storytelling, diary and theatre, both candid and staged photography. They are cinematographic fiction raised to the level of judiciary truth. And vice versa.

Francesco Zanot
Camera, Centro Italiano per la Fotografia, Torino, Italia