Franco Pinna

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Biographical notes

Franco Pinna (La Maddalena, 1925- Roma, 1978), moved to Rome in 1935 with his family. After a first experience in film documentation, in 1952 he founded the Fotografi Associati cooperative, together with the De Martiis, Garrubba, Sansone and Volta. During these years he collaborated with newspapers and magazines such as Paese Sera, L’Unità, Noi Donne and Vie Nuove, but also with magazines more devoted to photography such as Il Mondo and Le Ore. In the 1950s he followed the ethnographer Ernesto De Martino in his expeditions to Lucania and carried out socio-political investigations with his friend anthropologist Franco Cagnetta. During his career he worked with Italian and foreign magazines such as Radiocorriere TV, Cinema Nuovo, L’Espresso, Panorama, Epoca, LIFE, Paris Match, Stern, Quick and Vogue. In 1963 one of his pictures was published in the Sunday Times. The following year, on the set of the film Giulietta degli Spiriti, he began the long collaboration with Federico Fellini becoming his stage photographer. In 1960 he collaborated to Sud: Immagini contrapposte (issue no. 10 of Prospettive Meridionali), together with Piergiorgio Branzi, Carlo Bavagnoli, Calogero Cascio, Fosco Maraini, Henry Cartier-Bresson and David “Chim” Seymour.

Among his publications figure: La Sila (Lea, 1959), Sardegna. Una civiltà di pietra (Lea, 1961), Franco Pinna. Fotografie 1944-1977 (Motta, 1996) and L’isola del rimorso. Fotografie in Sardegna 1953 -1967 (Imago, 2004). From the 1950s to the present day his works have been exhibited in numerous solo shows in Rome, Florence, Sassari, Cagliari, Bologna, Naples, Leipzig and New York.

A selection of his photographs is included in the international touring exhibition nd in the book NeoRealismo. La nuova immagine in Italia 1932-1960, published in Italian editions (Admira Edizioni, 2006), Spanish (La Fábrica Editorial, 2007), German (Christoph Merian Verlag / Fotomuseum Winterthur, 2007) and English (DelMonico Books•Prestel / Admira Edizioni, 2018).

Some of his works are included in the recent acquisition of Italian Post-War photography of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

All images © Archivio Fotografico Franco Pinna, Roma.