The title of Andrea Alessio‘s new book from Nazraeli Press, Before You, Santa Claus, Life Was Like a Moonless Night, may sound a bit tongue-in-cheek. But Alessio undertook his photographs of holiday lights in the areas around his home in Italy’s Northeast out of genuine fascination with the way they “radically change my daily landscape,” he told PDN via email. “To me, they were like underlines and exclamation points.”
During the winters of 2010-2012, Alessio drove around his home and studio near Treviso, Venice and Pordenone, making images of people’s Christmas decorations, which raised some suspicions. “I have done a lot of talking to the cops during those nights,” he says. The work is part of a larger investigation of the area around Venice, Alessio’s home territory, which was traditionally thought of as an industrial powerhouse but is “undergoing a huge economic crisis…. I am fascinated by the place that, within a few miles, hosts a wonderful city like Venice and the biggest Italian chemical industry,” he explains. His look at this area of Italy, the “places of my life, the places I love,” he says, uses darkness as a “key note,” and the Christmas lights give the images a “romantic touch.”
The book is published to coincide with Alessio’s exhibition at Micamera gallery in Milan.