Description

The photography of Ferdinando Scianna often captures decisive moments but his scenes take place within a wider unfolding process of time and movement. Whether it be in his home of Sicily or on the street of New York City, his ability to capture the essence of a situation is down to diligent exploration, in his own words: “waiting for those instants of meaning and glimpses of form that on very rare occasions reveal the world and myself.”

A photograph is not created by a photographer. What they do is just to open a little window and capture it. The world then writes itself on the film

Ferdinando Scianna
© Ferdinando Scianna | Magnum Photos

Ferdinando Scianna started taking photographs in the 1960s while studying literature, philosophy and art history at the University of Palermo. It was then that he began to photograph the Sicilian people systematically.

After moving to Milan in 1966 he worked as a photographer then journalist, writing on politics and on photography and literature. He entered the field of fashion photography in the late 1980s, producing pioneering work that brought fashion into the streets of his home of Sicily.

Scianna has also explored the subject of religious rituals and photographed across Italy, America and beyond, as well as collaborating with famous writers such as Leonardo Sciascia. He joined Magnum Photos in 1982.

© Ferdinando Scianna | Magnum Photos

Get Magnum news and updates directly to your inbox