Art & Culture / Photography

Discovering Mario Carnicelli’s voyage across ’60s America

The photographer who captured a country's lost dream.

After 50 years of hiding, Italian photographer Mario Carnicelli’s American Voyage has been rediscovered: a captivating portrayal of 1960s USA, we see corners of the country through a fresh eye. Taking in the people, fashion, colours and textures of the sixties street life, Carnicelli encapsulates the changing culture of America in every shot. His outside eye brings a voyeuristic aesthetic to his series, as he triumphs in capturing the candid moments of day-to-day life.

Fascinated by the country’s “multiculturalism, fashion, individuality, freedom and pursuit of happiness uniquely underpinned by a pervasive loneliness and rootlessness” that he observed, especially in “people separated from family and kin”. From students to workers, passers-by to pensive sitters, Carnicelli pictures people in moments of calm within the hustle and bustle of city life. Whether New Yorkers, Detroiters, DC city slickers or Chicagoans, his lens celebrates humankind as one whilst showcasing the intimacy of individuality.

 

Contemplating on the complexity of ordinary people and the American Dream, American Voyage is Mario Carnicelli’s optimistic look at life. What then would seem to be daily banality, through the eyes of a European traveller it is new and booming, documenting a time changing without its people even knowing it.

 

American Voyage by Mario Carnicelli is published by Reel Art Press. This article was originally published in June 2018.

7 November 2019