Great photography. Horrifying subject.
French photographer Raymond Depardon doesn’t believe in staging people or their surroundings in his work.
The tenet came from the beginning of his professional life, when he was a journalist.
“I am a naturalist, I prefer photographs that are very simple,” he said in a phone interview.
“I like to leave things like they are, like a journalist.”
That philosophy is evident in the stark black-and-white images of his latest collection, “Manicomio, The Hidden Madness.”
They show the harsh reality of life inside Italian mental institutions in the 1970s. Tufts of a man’s hair poke out of a rope cage as he strains his head against the top in an effort to stand up straight in the small enclosure. The frizzy halos of elderly women’s hair are backlit by daylight in a spartan room. A thin man pulls closed the waist of his too-large pants as he stands in a…
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