Alexis Rosas – Photos that speak louder than words

Alexis Rosas, born in 1988 in Lima but Milanese by adoption, majoring in Science of Cultural Heritage and a diploma in Architecture and Design.

Alexis Rosas’s passion for b/w photography has matured turning to the streets of his city, Milan, which inevitably became his favourite subject. The vintage photos gave a further development to his research because it allowed him to investigate human relationships and its use as a tangible memory. In this case the blacks erase the subjects in a brutal way and reveal the lack of affection or the lost humanity of the people.

His new projects, however, go deeper, with the aim of highlighting profounder and more intimate messages. Alexis starts his work by taking old/vintage black and white photos, the ones that everyone has home – at least one! – with a precise date and place of shooting. In this way, it is easy to have an idea of one photo’s story and to understand the cultural and historical context. Subsequently, Alexis “erase” (by painting them black) the secondary people from the pictures he retrieves, in order to put the attention to the very protagonist of the photos – and to, therefore, highlight their own story.

Different projects follow such method; “Trovami“, photographically recounts the first contacts between Italy and foreigners. The photos cover a time span ranging from 1916 to the 70s: years in which migratory phenomenon means the Italian diaspora or the first great immigration of the years of the economic boom – southern Italy and neighbouring countries. 

In these vintage photos the white man is cancelled and obscured, assuming all the negative values of “the black man” (boogieman). This is the emotional centre of the photo and emphasizes its domination over other peoples. History confirms us that little has been done to integrate those who are different from us and people come still judged and summarized with the question “Where are you from?”. 

The series “Non ci sono” tell what some families go through during their existence, that is the total loss – given by death due to illness or fatal accident – or partial absence – caused by a divorce or departure abroad for work reasons. – of a parent. The photos represent various moments of daily life such as day trips, Christmas or walks in the park, where the missed figure is “erased” to show what his/her lack means in moments of affection. Powerful and painful, as simple as that.


Discover more about Alexis Rosas here.


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