Charlie

PhotographerLorenzo Martelli
Prize2nd Place in Editorial / Other_ED
Entry Description

"But what did he see? Absurdity and wretchesness, absurdity and wretchesness. And with the torment and the pride of such insight came loneliness; for he could not feel at ease among the innocent, among the light of heart and dark of understanding, and they shrank from the sign on his brow." (T. Mann, Tonio Kröger)   His grandfather was the one who renounced wealth and nobility titles leaving Charlie with the longing of still running the long lost family lands. Years ago, he was a brilliant radio script writer, his friends used to call him The Count because of his sophisticated manners, a fragile remnant of the baronial title that would be his right. From the seventies, Charlie has shared his daily life with more than thirty stray dogs.  Today he still has four plus nearly forty cats.  From the moment he started devoting his energies to his animals he never left Milan and rarely ventures out of his own neighborhood.  “Never a single vacation day” he often pointed out to me without hiding a certain pride “never a day in bed, but now I feel that I am getting very tired physically and mentally”. In the spring, 2010, I asked Charlie permission to take pictures of him.  Before my intrusion, the apartment in which he had been born and raised was but a fortress that has remained sealed for decades.  “I am not my home” he kept telling me over and over, but one day he decided to let me in.

Story

"But what did he see? Absurdity and wretchesness, absurdity and wretchesness. And with the torment and the pride of such insight came loneliness; for he could not feel at ease among the innocent, among the light of heart and dark of understanding, and they shrank from the sign on his brow." (T. Mann, Tonio Kröger) His grandfather was the one who renounced wealth and nobility titles leaving Charlie with the longing of still running the long lost family lands. Years ago, he was a brilliant radio script writer, his friends used to call him The Count because of his sophisticated manners, a fragile remnant of the baronial title that would be his right. From the seventies, Charlie has shared his daily life with more than thirty stray dogs. Today he still has four plus nearly forty cats. From the moment he started devoting his energies to his animals he never left Milan and rarely ventures out of his own neighborhood. “Never a single vacation day” he often pointed out to me without hiding a certain pride “never a day in bed, but now I feel that I am getting very tired physically and mentally”. In the spring, 2010, I asked Charlie permission to take pictures of him. Before my intrusion, the apartment in which he had been born and raised was but a fortress that has remained sealed for decades. “I am not my home” he kept telling me over and over, but one day he decided to let me in.

About Photographer

Lorenzo Martelli was born in 1986 and graduated from the Brera Art Institute of Milan, Italy. In 2007 he became acquainted with photographer Ernesto Bazan while attending his workshops in both Italy and Brasil. These initial meetings lead to a friendship and later collaboration: the creation and founding of independent publishing company, Bazan Photos Publishing. In the meantime, Lorenzo began visiting MiCamera Gallery and Bookstore in Milan. He attended several workshops with photographers such as Mark Steinmetz and Joakim Eskildsen, which helped him to pursue his own projects while affirming his interest in the publication of others'. In 2010, after several years of research and preparation, he presents his first project, Charlie.