The temporary bookshop Riviera has animated the Istituto Svizzero in Milan since February 2016, hosting a variety of events dedicated to visual arts and publishing.
Directed by Caterina Riva and Dallas (Creative Direction & Graphic Design Studio founded by Francesco Valtolina and Kevin Pedron), Riviera focuses on the book both as an object and a concept, bringing in the same space an ever-changing physical store of selected art and design publications as well as events, performances and exhibitions.
Opening on May 18th and running through the conclusion of the project, which will occur on June 24th, is photographer Lukas Wassmann’s first solo exhibition since 2008, Amici.
Wassmann’s work combines fashion photography, advertising and publishing, as well as editorials for magazines such as Vanity Fair, Apartamento, Vogue and Pin Up. His attitude to encompass freely commercial and fine-art photography has always conferred to his personal research an adventurous and fun atmosphere, at the core of which lies the photographer’s ordinary life.
Presenting over 40 photographs, Amici is a collection of the artist’s everyday life and friends, depicted with his typical humorous style.
LW: He is my muse! No, really. He is my muse and a hunting dog, we do lots of training together in the woods, and he is around me all the time. His name is Gustl, you’ll meet him on Wednesday at the opening, he’s here in the car with me right now.
F: What makes your work special is the combination of biography, editorials, fashion and advertising, but it feels like everything has the same approach: in one word, free. Is it so?
LW: I guess it is. I think it’s kind of a natural thing for a photographer to establish a relationship with the subject, especially if you like it. Otherwise, I’d do another job. For sure, I am very interested in interacting with people. I have no recipe, but I must say I have come to a point of my work where, if I want to do something and I feel I can do it, I just do it.
F: What is next on your agenda?
LW: As for my personal research, I am in the middle of the making of a book with a Swiss publisher, which will be released at some point next year. For now, it’s a mix of photographs from my archive, but it’s too early to say what it will become.
On the professional side, I was just signed by Total Management – it is a international agency with few, very competent professionals, with headquarters in New York, Paris, Berlin… I do not know what to expect, but I hope this opportunity will lead my work to a new, further dimension.