Tayside and Central Scotland

Work of legendary fashion photographer in Falkirk display

Gianni photos 6 Image copyright FABRIZIO GIANNI ARCHIVE
Image caption Mr Gianni's career in photography spans more than four decades

The work of a legendary fashion photographer and film-maker is to go on show in Falkirk.

Fabrizio Gianni photographed stars for some of the world's top fashion magazines and was Sergio Leone's assistant director on The Good, The Bad and the Ugly.

Having lived and worked in Milan, Paris, Tokyo and New York, Mr Gianni now lives in Falkirk with his wife.

The first ever exhibition of his work opens in the town on Friday.

Fantasia, the collection at the Falkirk Community Trust's Park Gallery, focuses on the Italian's work for fashion magazines such as Elle, Vogue, GQ and Harper's Bazaar, with star subjects including Anthony Hopkins, Sir Ben Kingsley and Keanu Reeves.

Image caption Mr Gianni's subjects include a range of celebrities and top fashion houses

Mr Gianni told BBC Scotland that when he was asked to put the exhibition together, his collection of photographs had almost completely "disappeared" after being left in his cellar in Falkirk for 20 years.

He said: "The editor in chief of Vogue in France phoned me up and asked me to collaborate to do a book, and I said, OK, if I can find the photos. So I went down to the cellar and I found all this mould.

"All of my photos were in a cellar, all mouldy and ruined.

"Some of them were boxed when I moved from Milan, and remained boxed for 20 years.

"I basically lost 10 years of pictures. Only a few remained from the 1970s, most of what I have is from the 1980s and 1990s.

"I said to them, why don't we do a book of mouldy pictures? We could call it 'Saved from the Bin'."

Image caption The photographer has lived and worked in Rome, Milan, Paris, Tokyo, London and New York
Image caption He now lives in Falkirk with his wife, a model-turned-advocate

Despite having worked at the top of the photographic trade, Mr Gianni insists that he is not an artist, but a good professional practicing his craft.

He said: "Gillian from the Falkirk Community Trust called me about doing the exhibition.

"I said, I accept, but you are never to portray me as an artist, because I was a good professional, that's all.

"You think, right away, what can I do to make those clothes become human, real? The designer doesn't think of this, they probably hate the women!

"Putting a normal woman into these so-called beautiful dresses - that's the difficult part.

"You take this girl - a young, beautiful girl, with skin like a peach - you put the clothes on them and put them in a beautiful location, in wonderful light at the moment of the day when the light is fantastic, and you do the photo.

"This is craft, not art."

Image caption Many of Mr Gianni's photographs were ruined after being stored in a cellar in Falkirk
Image caption The Italian insists he is a "good professional" practicing a craft, rather than an artist

Mr Gianni was assistant director on the classic "Spaghetti Western" film The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, and is credited with styling Clint Eastwood's famously nameless character.

He said: "I was shooting a film in Munich as assistant director, and Sergio Leone came in and said to me that he wanted to do a Western. I thought, 'this guy is cuckoo, doing a Western in Italy?'

"It was an experience - he would go around terrorising people. It was a mix of being scared to not work with him any more, but being scared of the man himself.

"He was convinced he was an artist, he was convinced he was a genius. No-one could argue with that."

Admission to the exhibition at The Park Gallery at Callendar House in Falkirk is free between 10:00 and 17:00, Monday to Saturday.

Image caption His work often draws on the film industry, which he also worked in

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