It’s grey in Milan, today. Threatening to rain. But this is a Milan I love—black, white and gray. It’s a city to be photographed monochromatically—desaturated, elemental, reduced to geometry and emotion. And so, for the umpteenth time, Gianni Berengo Gardin comes to mind, a photographer I have meant to share with you many times, a photographer who has captured the soul of this country so well and preserved it in black and white.
Berengo Gardin was one of the first whose work I came to know when I moved here, and his images, like good friends, gave me a way to understand this country. I believe he is loved here, and generally considered to be the master of some of the most representative images of Italians and Italian life for the past 50 years. I owe him what many of us owe photographers we will never meet: gratitude for giving me a grip on my very own humanity and an understanding of the context in which I myself am now a player.