“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."


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, 2018/2019;
Museum of Modern Art SF MoMA, San Francisco,
The impact of Guggenheim Fellowship on history of Photography, 2020, TBA, Book (Aperture) and Group Exhibition



       '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

Gomorrah Girl

‘Italy is often associated with the Coliseum, Pompeii, Tuscan hillsides and quaint cobbled roads. It is a struggle to conceive of the inhumane underbelly of a place we so blissfully romanticize. Hollywood portrayals of mafia-like organizations such as The Godfather or The Sopranos conceal the reality of these groups and their implications on society. Spada pulls the rose-colored glasses from our eyes, forcing us to consider how the intimidation, violence and machismo perpetuated by the Camorra reverberates through the fabric of a major city — the third largest municipality in Italy. The final photograph in Gomorrah Girl leaves us uneasy. The thirty-one year old “killer of Scampia” is positioned on a motorcycle in front of a series of apartment buildings, staring straight into the camera’s lens. His girlfriend, who did not want her portrait taken, is almost entirely obscured; all that is visible is a small sliver of her face and downcast gaze. Leaving us to wonder — what will become of these Gomorrah Girls?’

Allie Haeusslein, Director Pier24 Gallery, San Francisco, USA