Italian Photographer Maurizio Galimberti Creates Cubist Polaroid Collages of Artists & Celebrities

Five years ago Polaroid announced that they would no longer make ana­log insta­mat­ic film. At that moment, if one lis­tened care­ful­ly, one could almost hear some of the 20th cen­tu­ry’s most famous artists wail in despair, even from the grave. Ansel Adams loved Polaroid and shot some of his famous Yosemite images in that for­mat first.

But a tech­nique with that kind of fol­low­ing doesn’t die off eas­i­ly. Two ardent Polaroid fans—ardent enough to actu­al­ly attend the clo­sure of a Polaroid fac­to­ry in the Netherlands—met and came up with a plan to save the fac­to­ry and Polaroid instant film. They called their plan the Impos­si­ble Project. They leased one of the Dutch fac­to­ry build­ings and even­tu­al­ly fired up the machines again, turn­ing out new instant film.

Lucky for us. Artists like David Hock­ney have long made beau­ti­ful use of Polaroid instant pho­tos to con­struct cubist col­lages. One of the best at this is the Ital­ian pho­tog­ra­ph­er Mau­r­izio Gal­im­ber­ti who cre­ates ter­rif­ic celebri­ty por­traits using a Polaroid.

close Galimberti

Gal­im­ber­ti con­sid­ers him­self a painter who uses a cam­era. Watch­ing the video of his pho­to shoot with painter Chuck Close, it’s inter­est­ing to observe how sim­i­lar Galimberti’s pho­to col­lage (above) is to Close’s own paint­ed self-por­traits.

Gal­im­ber­ti also has pret­ty good access to celebri­ties, hav­ing shot the por­trait of John­ny Depp and this one of George Clooney at the 2003 Venice Film Fes­ti­val.

Gal­im­ber­ti posts a num­ber of more recent celebri­ty por­traits on his web­site, where he also dis­plays his abstract city pho­to col­lages.

Kate Rix writes about dig­i­tal media and edu­ca­tion. Vis­it her web­site: .  

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  • G. Armour Van Horn says:

    Polaroid nev­er made “insta­mat­ic” film. The Insta­mat­ic cam­era line was from Kodak and used tra­di­tion­al film in a small-for­mat car­tridge referred to as 110. They also fea­tured four-sided flash cubes that rotat­ed after each shot.

    Polaroid films were always much larg­er for­mat than used in Insta­mat­ics or most com­mon tra­di­tion­al cam­eras. Polaroid was most­ly pro­duced in “large for­mat” sizes, 4x5 through 20x24 inch­es plus the Polaroid-spe­cif­ic sizes.


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