In the 19th century, photography was hailed as the harbinger of truth and realism in art. In modern times, Patrizio Di Renzo has embarked on a profound artistic journey, using the art of photography to transform illusion into the realm of unreality. In his photographs, videos, films and visionary creative directions, Di Renzo artfully dismantles the notion that what the eye sees is the essence of reality. Instead, he lures us through an open window into fantastical realms filled with the tapestries of myth, the alchemy of magic and the ethereal fabric of dreams and desires.
Born in Switzerland but rooted in Italy, Di Renzo has crowned his odyssey by realising his dreams as a photographer and creative director. His canvas spans the cosmopolitan landscapes of Zurich and New York, where he designs his enigmatic narratives for a number of prestigious luxury brands. Much like the ever-changing scenes of our dreams that serve as his muse, Patrizio Di Renzo's oeuvre pulses with a fervent dedication to stylistic dynamism that knows no boundaries between disciplines, ideas and images.
Di Renzo's photographic oeuvre produces images that oscillate between lyrical beauty and erotic poignancy. They are at once refined and provocative, imbued with a contemporary fashion aesthetic with a touch of surrealism. Yet beneath the veneer of his compositions lies a labyrinth of depth, reflections and allusions that can only be discerned by those with the acumen to perceive them. Patrizio Di Renzo calls these multi-layered facets of illusion "inner truths" and claims that all his works are, in a sense, self-portraits.
For Di Renzo, the images go beyond mere visual communication; they are his language. At first glance, nothing is what it seems. Everything is in an illusion, inviting us to go beyond the mundane and enter the realm of reverie - a place where the viewer becomes an integral part of the dream itself. As a consultant to companies and individuals looking to redefine their image and give it a new look, Patrizio Di Renzo is a master of visual metamorphosis.
The artist has indelibly inscribed himself in the annals of photography history with the publication of two highly acclaimed books. "Portraits of Illusions" (Edition Assouline, 2005) is a volume of eight short stories he captured photographically around the world, from the windswept cliffs of Ireland to urban New York to the tropical charm of the Seychelles. Merlin's Dream" (Edition Zauberkind, 2010) takes us into the enigmatic world of Arthurian alchemist Merlin as revealed in the wizard's dreams, which are laden with floral symbolism and imbued with beguiling provocation.
Di Renzo is currently working on a new work with the provisional title "UNDER THE SKIN". The perception of reality is a complex and ever-changing phenomenon. It is shaped by our individual experiences, beliefs and values as well as by the collective understanding of our society. Reality is not static, but an ever-changing and evolving element that is shaped by our interaction with the world around us. We can never really know what is real and what is not, but we can try to understand our own perception of reality and how it affects our lives. In Patrizio Di Renzo's artwork, illusion and reality continue their intricate dance, inviting us to explore the depths of perception and the limitless horizons of imagination.
WORDS BY VIVIENNE BECKER
Over the course of a remarkable three-decade career, Patrizio Di Renzo has collaborated with an array of visionary avant-garde designers, luminous celebrities, iconic models, and renowned artists. His portfolio boasts luminaries such as Chloë Sevigny, Natalia Vodianova, Mads Mikkelsen, Devon Aoki, and esteemed brands and creatives like Issey Miyake, Tsumori Chisato, Lalique, Bentley, Luisa Cerano, and an illustrious roster of many others.