A Quiet Work of Italian Art

Thursday, September 11, 2014

image from The Sartorialist
Flipping through The Sartorialist, this picture caught my attention because it was shot in Cortona, Italy, the location of my magical summer 2 years (?!) ago. That street is so familiar, I can almost hear the clanking of china at the bakery at the end of the road and catch a waft of the gelato shop a little ways down. This woman is a quintessential Cortonese. With a winking half smile and her arms folded delicately in front of her, she could be a quiet work of Italian art and no one would notice. I love how Scott Schuman takes street style photography to the next level by managing to capture the person behind the fashion statement. This lady sports a harmony of blues and browns and greys; her style is one of practicality but also of an Italian tradition. She looks directly out at us, a striking confidence for a woman of her age and stature.

In Italy I studied photography and one of the hardest assignments was a street photography project. I was so embarrassed to ask the locals if I could snap their portraits, and I know I was over thinking the assignment. I wouldn't go near them. I think that's why I am a better writer than photographer: I like to observe at a distance. This portrait fulfills my botched street photography assignment. Even though my photographs were mediocre, I can appreciate Schuman's work. He certainly captured the humbleness of the tiny hilltop town that I learned to call home. By capturing this woman's spirit and personal style, he managed to press pause on an intimate moment in a quiet town - my town - and for that I am grateful.

{currently listening to}

Read about my Cortona adventures here

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