We first encountered David Burdeny‘s work last year with his series of compelling images of Moscow’s subway station. The architect-turned-photographer has now moved his attention toward the opulent architecture of Italy, capturing the hidden decadence of the Italian peninsula. From north to south, Burdeny’s sharp eye takes the viewer into unique spaces, some still private residences, others transformed into museums, others shuttered permanently and falling into decay. His compositional symmetry and attention to light and color betray his background as a practicing architect, as he gives value to the structure as a living, breathing figure. It’s easy to imagine the phantoms of history past floating through the scenery.
The series itself could be a study of Italy’s hidden heritage—from the unexpectedly colorful Castle of Sammezzano, an example Moorish Revival architecture that began construction in 1605 and has remained closed to the public for 25 years, to the luxurious hunting lodge at the Stupingi Palace, former residence of the Royal house of Savoy turned UNESCO World Heritage Site. The images display the intricate interiors full of craftsmanship, whether it be Murano glass chandeliers or elaborately frescoed ceilings, capturing an age when Italy was a world leader.
“I seek to capture the mood and promise, silence and solitude in that extended moment of awareness,” Burdeny says. “In my earlier architectural practice and now my photography career, I’m fascinated by the opportunity to invest symbols and narrative into built form or see the metaphor in a material space.” Beyond the technical prowess that digital photography affords us, Burdeny likes to think that “there is a mystery at the heart of all my photographs, an appeal for the viewer to keep looking and see more.”
From November 10-December 23, 2016, Burdeny’s exhibition Selected Works from Russia, Cuba, and Salt will be on view at Herringer Kiss Gallery in Calgary, Alberta. He will also be showing work at Art Toronto with Bau-Xi Gallery from October 28-31, 2016.
Above image: Hunting Lodge (Rotunda), Stupingi Palace, Piedmont, Italy
Palazzo Colonna, Rome, Italy 2016
Castle of Sammezzano, Tuscany, Italy, 2016
Map Room, Villa Farnese, Caprarola, 2016
Mirror Room, Ducal Palace, Mantua, Italy, 2016
Library, Naples, Italy, 2016
Gran Galleria, Reggia di Venaria Reale, Piedmont, 2016
Court Theater, Royal Palace of Caserta, Caserta, Italy, 2016
Apartments of Princess Isabella, Palazzo Colonna, Rome, Italy, 2016
Palazzo Madama, Turin, Italy, 2016
Ca’ Rezzonico II, Venice, Italy, 2012
Reggia di Caserta, Caserta, Italy, 2016
Tenuta Berroni, Racconigi, Italy, 2016
Castello, Racconigi, Italy, 2016
My Modern Met granted permission to use photos by David Burdeny.