Tazio Secchiaroli

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Biographical notes

Tazio Secchiaroli (Rome, 1925-1998), born into a family of humble origins, was just twenty years old when he earned to live as a street photographer, in Rome. In 1952, after a brief experience with the American agency International News Service, he became a member of the Vedo agency run by Adolfo Porry Pastorel. Here he learned the tricks of the trade and he produced some scoop that he sold to the most important magazines of the time, such as L’Europeo, Epoca, Le Ore e Oggi. In 1955 he founded the Roma Press Photo agency with Sergio Spinelli. He became famous for his pictures immortalizing the lively nights of Via Veneto, in Rome - an atmosphere that Fellini then decided to celebrate in his masterpiece La Dolce Vita. In fact, the Italian director was inspired by him to create the character of Paparazzo. From 1958 he started a long collaboration with Fellini, who encouraged him to abandon his career as a “street photographer” and to devote himself exclusively to cinematographic photography. It was so from in 1960. On the set and backstage he was well-liked: the stars no longer dodged him, rather they were happy to work with him. In 1963 he met Sophia Loren and he was her personal photographer for about 20 years. Tazio Secchiaroli is the author of some iconic images such as the images that portray Aiché Nana al Rugantino’s famous striptease, the quarrels between Anita Ekberg and Antony Steel, and the excesses of anger by Walter Chiari. In 1985 he retired from professional life and he died in Rome in 1998. His photographs have been published in numerous national and international magazines since the 1950s and in volumes dedicated to his career. Among these: The original Paparazzo (Photology, 1996), Sophia Loren (Rizzoli, 2003), Federico Fellini (Rizzoli, 2003), Marcello Mastroianni nelle fotografie di Tazio Secchiaroli (Bolis, 2006). Giornate particolari (Ciak, 2006). There are numerous personal and collective exhibitions in which he has participated in Italy and abroad since the 1960s. Between 1999 and 2001, his exhibition Dolce Vita was presented by ADMIRA in PHotoEspaña in 1999, Sala Municipal de Exposiciones de San Benito (Valladolid, 2000) and Sala Caja España (Pelencia, 2001).

A selection of his images is included in the international touring exhibition and 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).

All images © David Secchiaroli.