Mario De Biasi

GLI ITALIANI SI VOLTANO, MILANO, 1954 COPYRIGHT ARCHIVIO MARIO DE BIASI DISTRIBUITO DA MONDADORI PORTFOLIO

The photograph Gli italiani si voltano, taken in Milan in 1954, is the most famous shot of Mario De Biasi (Belluno 1923 – 2013). De Biasi was a photojournalist with the ability to chronicle both major historical events of global significance and ordinary events of small local realities with equal commitment and sensitivity. This image, commissioned by the Epoca magazine, was taken during a shoot in downtown Milan a few steps from the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. The protagonist of the shot is a very young and still little-known Moira Orfei portrayed from behind as she walks down the street among the people. As a beautiful woman, elegant and dressed in white, attracts the gaze of a group of intrigued men who stop in admiration to look at her literally turning around as she passes. Such an attitude well represents the spirit of that era. The photo became iconic when, in 1994, the Guggenheim Museum in New York decided to use it as the poster for the exhibition “The Italian Metamorphosis 1943-1968.”

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