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Mario De Biasi

The exhibition celebrates the centenary of Mario De Biasi's birth, and brings together 70 of the most emblematic images, some of them previously unpublished, taken by the photojournalist in Milan, his adopted and favorite city.
A visual essay on the work of Mario De Biasi (1923-2013), a versatile photographer defined by Enzo Biagi as "the man who could photograph everything". In this all, he preferred the Lombard capital, where he settled at the age of 15. That's why, a hundred years after his birth, Milan's Diocesano Museum is dedicating an extraordinary edition to him from November 14, 2023 to January 21, 2024, bringing together a series of emblematic shots dedicated to his adopted city.
The exhibition "MARIO DE BIASI AND MILAN. Special Edition", organized and produced by Mondadori portfolio in collaboration with the Diocesan Museum of Milan and curated by Maria Vittoria Baravelli and Silvia De Biasi, presents 70 vintage photographs, prints and unpublished shots by one of the most acclaimed authors of the second half of the Italian twentieth century, who for thirty years documented the history of our country through the pages of Arnoldo Mondadori Editore's magazine, "Epoca".
The exhibition route - featuring works from the Mondadori and De Biasi archives - will enable the public to familiarize themselves with the photographers' own language, adapted to very different contexts. And, in particular, in Milan.

De Biasi shares a vision that is both lucid and evocative, capable of describing a controversial moment in Italian history with immediacy and originality. In the orderly patterns of his shots, we can recognize the historical and cultural changes of a country that, in the 1950s and 1960s, was in the process of establishing a renewed cultural identity. A renaissance that found eloquent expression in De Biasi's pictures. The exhibition ideally traverses the city, from its nerve center to its outskirts. There are the tourists gazing at the roof of the Duomo cathedral and crowding the bars of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, but also the commuters of the Porta Romana station. Then there's San Babila, the Arc de la Paix, the zoo in the Porta Venezia gardens. All glimpses of a Milan we no longer see.
De Biasi's authorial approach is enriched by his journalistic insight in 1953, when he was hired as a photojournalist by "Epoca". An emblematic magazine of the time, inspired by American illustrated magazines, which included Aldo Palazzeschi and Cesare Zavattini.
According to director Enzo Biagi, in a publication distinguished by the refinement of its layout, De Biasi was the only one capable of always guaranteeing the magazine "the right photo", even if he had to risk his life to earn it, between bullets and grenade shrapnel in several of the most difficult assignments of his career or by engaging with the great figures of the time, including intellectuals, actresses and artists.
Totally unpublished are the auditions for acrobat Moira Orfei and the shots that precede and follow the famous "Italians Turn Around" taken in 1954 for the weekly photo novel "Bolero Film" and chosen by Germano Celant to open the "Metamorphosis of Italy" exhibition in 1994 at the Guggenheim in New York. The image shows a group of men observing Moira Orfei, framed from behind and dressed in white, as she walks through the center of Milan.
The exhibition concludes with the section "From Milan to the Moon", featuring a precious selection of photographs taken by De Biasi during his travels outside Europe: from India to the Budapest revolution, from Japan to Siberia, right up to the moon landing with the famous shots of Neil Armstrong.