Italian fine art and fashion and portrait photographer Valeria Schettino (@valeria.schettino) uses her camera to tell stories and create original narratives. Inspiration for her work comes from her own external surroundings, observing others, movies, art, and books. In this self-portrait series, photographer becomes subject in an observation of both the self and the natural environment. Objects including a mirror, light bulb and glass are used symbolically to guide the viewer through the narrative. Valeria does an excellent job of creating work that is somewhat arcane, allowing the viewer to come to their own conclusions about the work.
Throughout this series, the protagonist only makes direct eye contact with the viewer on two occasions. In one of these images, twigs appear to sprout from her back, a leaf covers one eye potentially implying a connection between the natural world and the subject. Or perhaps, the subject is hiding behind these twigs, her face peeking through, her body disfigured. This is both a delicate and violent image. It goes hand in hand with the face of broken glass. Glass, delicate yet dangerous if shattered, takes the place of the subject’s face inferring layered meanings and sparking questions.
In a second image, where the protagonists face is hidden, she holds a mirror, resting her head along its edge. Reflected in the mirror is the ocean perhaps hinting that the protagonist is holding a sea of emotions. Focus is selectively used to explore the relationship of the subject to herself. Valeria photographed much of this series on a beach, an expansive space to observe the self and a poetic way to express how small one is in the expanse of nature.
Valeria is a 2015 graduate of the University of Naples. In 2016 she studied at NID in Perugia after winning a scholarship. Her work has been published online and in magazines, including Vogue Paris. In 2019 she was the Bronze Prize Winner of the Nikon Photo Contest. Valeria lives and works in Paris.