The Italians have always had flair, whether it's in fashion, art, or food. They're people who know a thing or two about elements of style in different forms and manners. And they take these things seriously. Take the Neapolitan pizza for example—they have the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana that differentiates authentic Neapolitan pizza with the goal of giving it "maximum dignity." There are guidelines and rules to be followed for a pizza to be considered a true Neapolitan pizza. Even the size and provenance of the ingredients are listed to provide guidance to any would-be Pizzaiolo.
Like with food, Italians also have specific ways when it comes to fashion. There are rules to be followed when wearing a suit for different occasions, a fabric for a particular season, a shoe for formal events or just lounging around.
sprez·za·tu·ra: studied nonchalance : graceful conduct or performance without apparent effort.
They are emulated by the world because they do things effectively and with style. However, it's not just following the rules that make them great at it. It's also the mastery with which they break those rules. And that's where sprezzatura comes in.
Sprezzatura is the art of nonchalance. More closely related to fashion, sprezzatura is flair personified not by rigid rules but by understanding how you can bend them and make them work for you while you look like you don't care at all. Mismatched articles of clothing that still work well together, walking about with an air of confidence like you know that everything will turn out right, or perhaps concealing all forms of effort to make art that leaves an impact.
We can also connect sprezzatura to photography. These film photographers make art like there's nothing to it. They've worked so hard and yet they make it look effortless.
One Lomographer we instantly think of is @hodachrome with his mind-bending multiple exposures. He's a master when it comes to this alternative form of photography. It's safe to say that when you want to take a look at beautiful and almost surreal images, you know it's best to take a look at his LomoHome for inspiration.
@satomi also easily pops into mind along with her stark black-and-white shots. The high contrast and artistic composition prevalent in her work make her one of the most admired icons here in our community.
When it comes to vivid colors then we would be remiss to leave @andrejrusskovskij out of the conversation. You might not know it now but some of your favorite photos from the site may well have come from him. His understanding of colors, and film photography in general, makes his photographs look even more beautiful once you recognize the little nuances in his work.
These three Lomography icons have one thing in common: nonchalance developed with careful study and continuous effort. Sure, they make it look effortless but trust us, what they do is far from easy. Their results have come from years of dedication and devotion to film photography.
How about you? Which Lomographer from our community do you see as being the embodiment of the word sprezzatura? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!