In 2018 the Italian photographer Francesco Neri won the first August Sander Prize for Portrait Photography of the Photographische Sammlung/SK Stiftung Kultur, Cologne, with his portrait study of farmers in his northern Italian homeland. Neri, who studied with Guido Guidi in Ravenna, comes from the analogue tradition of Italian photography. His carefully composed portraits of men, women and children of family owned farms are surprisingly small, as he prints them as contacts from his 8×10 inch color- or black-and-white negatives. As a result they can be reproduced in full size in this book. The light, the backgrounds, the posture, the body language, the gaze of the portrayed people shaped by physical labour are central elements of his quiet images, which document the past, and present and question the future of the still small-scale, family driven, village structures in todays more and more industrialised and globalised agricultural world.
Francesco Neri (*1982) is Professor of Photography at the Institute for Graphic Design in Faenza and a member of the AA School of Architecture, London. For more than ten years he has been working on various long-term photographic projects, especially in the field of portraiture, but also landscape and interiors are among his fields of interest. “Farmers” is his second monographic publication!