Ulisse Bezzi does not have an image.
Italian 20th c. Photographer
in his long life, Ulisse Bezzi has always had two constants: land and photography. The influence of one is clearly apparent in the other, with images that reveal a characteristic sincerity of a farmer’s humble take on the world. Photography has always been something that Bezzi pursued solely for personal pleasure, driven by an unexplainable need to take pictures that captured the world around him in his own way. He didn’t lead the typical life of a photographer, so these portraits were often taken in the dark, only after he had completed his work in the fields. Despite the workload he already had and his modest income, Bezzi worked hard to pursue his secret passion. His very first camera was bought with money he earned working for his neighbour. The dedicated shutterbug also took it upon himself to develop the images in his home–his kitchen and bathroom acting as a makeshift studio and dark room. Now, at the ripe age of 90, Bezzi is receiving global recognition for this lifelong passion.
The diligent photographer’s work began to gain exposure after being entered into a series of national and international exhibitions, something his friends urged him to do. A recent win in San Paolo is what he assumes drew the notice of Keith De Lellis, owner of Keith de Lellis Gallery in New York City. After Bezzi’s initial rejection to an invitation to fly out to New York City and meet, de Lellis travelled to the rural photographer’s home in the tiny village of Pietro, Vincoli, Italy in order to discuss the matter in person. Collector and photographer sat together at Bezzi’s living room table sifting through hundreds of images, each one a personal memory of another era. Pouring over the precious moments Bezzi had captured throughout a lifetime, the gallery owner selected a series of images, some dating back to the 1950’s and 60’s, and returned to New York.
Undeniably, the story of a brilliant farmer photographer seized from complete anonymity is inspiring, in the rags to riches sense, but as for Bezzi? He doubts he will undertake the adventure of viewing his own pieces on display in New York; rather, he is content with his life in the countryside on his fields.