EYE CANDY

How Coppi Barbieri Brought Still Life Photography Into the Realm of Portraiture


Coppi Barbieri

You wouldn’t know it from their roster of heavyweight commercial clients—Apple, Chanel, Cartier, to name but a few—but Lucilla Barbieri and Fabrizio Coppi’s roots in still-life photography are surprisingly intimate. The pair first met at design school in Milan in the late ’80s, where they discovered their capacity to, using a large-format camera, turn everyday, household objects into something bordering on abstraction. Before long, they’d also transformed the sparsely decorated, light-flooded living room of their Milan apartment into a photo studio that proved perfectly suited to their experiments. It was there, too, that they fell in love—both as romantic and artistic partners, and they soon began working together under the name Coppi Barbieri. A look back at those early days makes it clear why: their precocious arrival at their signature style can be found all throughout Coppi Barbieri: Early Works 1992-1997, a new book published by Damiani, which is organized by subject material, from flowers they submerged underwater to dresses set up fluttering in front of a fan to common industrial objects like water bottles that, through their eyes, begin to take on the texture and sensuality of human bodies. As the photographer Paolo Roversi writes in the foreword, in a way, their work all falls under the categoray of “portraits.” See how they managed to bring still lifes to life, here.

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Coppi Barbieri

Coppi Barbieri, Tuesday 31st May 1994, 1994. Featured in Coppi Barbieri: Early Works 1992-1997, published by Damiani.

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Coppi Barbieri

Coppi Barbieri, Saturday 18th October 1997, 1997. Featured in Coppi Barbieri: Early Works 1992-1997, published by Damiani.

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Coppi Barbieri

Coppi Barbieri, Thursday 10th November 1994, 1994. Featured in Coppi Barbieri: Early Works 1992-1997, published by Damiani.

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Coppi Barbieri

Coppi Barbieri, October 1997, 1997. Featured in Coppi Barbieri: Early Works 1992-1997, published by Damiani.

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Coppi Barbieri

Coppi Barbieri, Thursday 12th March 1992, 1992. Featured in Coppi Barbieri: Early Works 1992-1997, published by Damiani.

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Coppi Barbieri

Coppi Barbieri, Thursday 27th October 1992, 1992. Featured in Coppi Barbieri: Early Works 1992-1997, published by Damiani.

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Coppi Barbieri

Coppi Barbieri, June 1995, 1995. Featured in Coppi Barbieri: Early Works 1992-1997, published by Damiani.

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Coppi Barbieri

Coppi Barbieri, Wednesday 20th December 1995, 1995. Featured in Coppi Barbieri: Early Works 1992-1997, published by Damiani.

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Coppi Barbieri

Coppi Barbieri, Tuesday 12th October 1993, 1993. Featured in Coppi Barbieri: Early Works 1992-1997, published by Damiani.

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Coppi Barbieri

Coppi Barbieri, Wednesday 17th February 1993, 1993. Featured in Coppi Barbieri: Early Works 1992-1997, published by Damiani.

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Coppi Barbieri

Coppi Barbieri, Friday 15th September 1995, 1995. Featured in Coppi Barbieri: Early Works 1992-1997, published by Damiani.

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Coppi Barbieri

Coppi Barbieri, Friday 5th November 1993, 1993. Featured in Coppi Barbieri: Early Works 1992-1997, published by Damiani.

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Coppi Barbieri

Coppi Barbieri, Monday 6th December 1993, 1993. Featured in Coppi Barbieri: Early Works 1992-1997, published by Damiani.