“Photography can fix eternity in a moment”
Christian Cremona was born in Tradate, a city in the province of Varese in the Lombardy region of northern Italy, on September 10, 1985. After graduating in 2004 from the A. Frattini secondary school for the arts in Varese, he completed a degree in Cultural Studies in 2008 (thesis: “The Paintings of Giorgio Vicentini in the 1980s and 1990s”) followed by an advanced degree in Art History in 2011 (thesis: “The Graphic Art of Gio’ Pomodoro”) at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan, Italy. Following his studies, Cremona worked as a cataloguer in the field of the graphic arts.
Cremona made his first creative foray into the contemporary art world upon completion of his secondary school degree, working chiefly in the areas of design, etching and painting.
This early period was one of continual experimentation with materials and techniques, focused on exploring the infinitely variable permutations of light. Many of Cremona’s works from this era reflect the influence of Caravaggio. Cremona regularly exhibited his work during this time in his hometown of Tradate, at the Galleria I Portici under the direction of Giancarlo Spina.
In 2008, Cremona shifted his artistic exploration to the field of photography. A student of pictorialism, he also delved into the photographic philosophies of Filippo Tommaso Marinetti and the Futurist photodynamism of Anton Giulio Bragaglia.
Contemporaneously, Cremona deepened his knowledge of Michelangelo. The themes in Michelangelo’s art – the study of Man, the tension between the mortal and the divine, titanism, and the contrast of the material and the spiritual – fascinated Cremona and made Michelangelo a constant presence in his personal research. In 2009, Cremona attended the exhibit “Robert Mapplethorpe: Perfection in Form” at the Academia Gallery in Florence — in which selected photographs by Mapplethorpe were paired with sculptures by Michelangelo – and was left dazzled by the American photographer’s expert use of light upon the human body, which drew from Mapplethorpe’s subjects a sacred beauty in addition to an exquisite beauty of form.
In the wake of these experiences, Cremona asked himself whether it might be possible to bridle and wield the power of light using the intellectual approach of a sculptor with a predominantly painterly visual idiom: an active visual language, capable of trapping the instant of creation present in light itself. Posing this question led Cremona to develop an original technique for his own photography that he refined in the years that followed, resulting in a unique artistic style deftly capable of capturing transcendence.
Following, too, the path marked out by the peintre-graveur – famous for introducing outside influences into the field of the graphic arts – Cremona sought to use his camera as a revealer of the “ideal image”, hidden and primordial: an image buried in the most secret spaces of mankind, which light has the task of drawing out in its nakedness and originality, comprised of form and spirit.
In examining Christian Cremona’s photography, one finds not only a history of artistic development, one finds oneself in a search for the Sacred: in the midst of a continual series of questions etched with the piercing beauty of light, whose “presence alone reveals the marvelous splendor of the kingdoms of the world” (Novalis, Hymns To The Night, I).
All photographic works by Christian Cremona are printed as unique copies on fine paper, accompanied by an authenticating signature and, in certain cases, by a print sample and artist’s proof. All works delivered directly from the artist without warranty or proof of authenticity are to be considered original artist’s proofs.
Several images have been published in S. Lanza’s collection “In Principio…Origine e inizio dell’Universo” (Vita e Pensiero, Milan 2012). For certain installations and exhibits, the artist may avail himself of large-scale projections of his works.
Translated by Laura Godorecci ©