This limited-edition photograph is being released to coincide with the publication of Site Specific, a comprehensive summary of Italian photographer Olivo Barbieri’s ten-year project to record the world’s cities in aerial photographs. The image, of Las Vegas rising out of the desert in the American West, employs the distinct “tilt-shift” technique with which Barbieri first established his reputation—and that launched a popular stylistic movement for selective-focus photographs. Whereas many tilt-shift photographs put the center of the composition in focus, here Barbieri crisply renders the snow-dusted mountains in the distance. The New York New York hotel and casino, in the foreground, is a blurry apparition that seems to shimmer in the desert heat. Barbieri cleverly comments on the unreality of the Las Vegas landscape while at the same time demonstrating the Strip’s relationship to the surrounding region.
Olivo Barbieri (born in Carpi, Italy, 1954) is a key figure in Italian contemporary art who has been featured several times at the Venice Biennale. His work has been exhibited at institutions, including the Hayward Gallery, London; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal; and Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MART), Rovereto, Italy.His photographs and films are in the collections of the Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany; Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo, Seville, Spain; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; International Center of Photography, New York; and Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea (GAM), Turin, Italy. His work has been widely published; monographs of Barbieri’s photographs include The Dolomites Project(2011) and The Waterfall Project (200