Born in Milan in 1946, Roberto lives between his native city, Rome and Miami. In the 1960s, he photographed over a hundred jazz concerts, building up a complete gallery of portraits of the most important jazz musicians of the period. These images have been displayed in numerous solo exhibitions, and used for magazines, books, CD sleeves, and have been collected in a photographic book Swing, Bop & Free (2006), which presents over 100 portraits of jazz icons of the 1960s.
But then, after entering with his jazz images in the history of entertainment photography, in the early 1970s he decided to hang up his camera and embark on a completely different career, as both an entrepreneur in the computer software business and an university professor.
In the early 2000’s he took up his camera again, after an expressive silence lasted three decades, exploring new different languages for travel art photography. Roberto’s primary objective is now to capture the genius loci of cities and countries. Like those nineteenth-century painters who sought the spirit of place with their brush, Polillo goes in search of the souls of the places with his camera.
And so was born “Impressions of the World,” an artistic adventure that began more than a decade ago and led him Middle and Far East and to Central and North America. Always fascinated by the Orient, Roberto’s photographic exploration was firstly nothing less than a spiritual and physical voyage to the East, that necessarily began in Venice, where East and West have met and mingled for centuries. Exhibition and book “Visions of Venice” was the first chapter of this journey.
Presently, he is trying to evocate with his images the future of big cities, with his explorations of the big metropolitan areas of the world, such as New York, Mexico City, Shanghai, Tokyo, Dubai, Hong Kong and others.
To represent the spirit of the places, Roberto uses a particular artistic language, based on the ICM — Intentional Camera Movement — shooting technique. A form of expression that is still relatively unknown but has enormous potential, and involves creating images with long exposures and moving the camera while taking the photo.
Artist photo by Roberto Cristaudo