contemporary art / history of art

Anna di Prospero

Born in 1987 in Rome, Italy, Anna di Prospero studied photography at the Istituto Europeo di Design in Rome and at the School of Visual Arts in New York. Already at the age of 15 years, she undertook first steps as photographer. At her school, she won the first price of a competition in the category “Home, Encounters and Journey”. However, at first she was more interested in painting.

When she moved with her family to Sermoneta, she photographed her new environment to discover it and regularly posted the pictures on Flickr (2007-2009). With her self-portraits at home and later in Latina Anna attracted first attention from a larger public. Noteworthy is the fact that even though self-portraits, the images show the artist, but her face remains always invisible. This was important for her, because she wanted to depict an anonymous woman, which could be any woman of the world. At the same time, this photographic research was also a self-discovery of the young creative. Regarding her artistic conception, she was impressed by stage photography, seen in an exhibition by Gregory Crewdson in the Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome.

During her studies in Rome, Anna received a scholarship for New York. After her return to Italy in 2011, she opened a new dimension in her work with “Self-portrait with my family (PART I)”, including other people. As part of this series “Self-portrait with my mother” was extraordinary successful, so that it is still today one of her identifying features. This photo is our Artwork of the Month / June 2020.

Subsequently, the artist extended the group of co-portrayed with friends and finally with strangers. Hence, the result is the long-term project “With you”. The latest series from 2019 and still ongoing is called “Self-portrait with my family (PART II)”. Here she returns after eight years to her relatives, but now Anna depicts her husband and her son. Also her early series of self-portraits in surroundings found successions. During several journeys, she anchored herself in temporary houses (2010-2013), in urban spaces (2010-2015) and in the other Space (2013-2018). These works are summarised under the title “I am here”. Further projects are focussing on architecture like “Palazzo Ducale Mantova” (2018) and “Istituto Italiano di Cultura Madrid” (2018). Additionally, the artist created the series “Divine”, which is inspired by the Italian-French painter Giovanni Boldini. It depicts herself in romantic landscapes. In 2019, these photos were exposed at the MBL Gallery in Ferrara, the hometown of the painter. Most recently, Anna reflected with “The quarantine days” on the lockdown due to the Covid-19-crisis. Here she returns – evidently forced by the circumstances – to the homely environment. However, this series refers to the beginnings with “Self-portrait at home” from 2007-2009 and give these images a new currency.

Since 2008, Anna had several solo exhibitions in Italy and France and participated in many group shows, also in the United States, England and Belgium. Her works are regularly presented at international art fairs. She was honoured with numerous prizes, inter alia the Sony World Photography Award (2014, rank 2nd in the category portrait), the People Photographer of the Year by the International Photography Awards (2011) and the Discovery of the Year by the Lucie Awards (2011). For her work, the artist undertook many voyages in various European countries and the United States. Moreover, she made residencies in Madrid and Marseille.

Anna lives in Latina and works mostly in Sermoneta.


Artwork of the Month / June 2020