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“My house, my neighbourhood, the places I have visited over and over since I can remember since I was born, all appear to have newfound energy”

Piero Percoco never studied photography — “I wasn’t able to afford it,” he says — but he occasionally bought photobooks and, inspired by photographers such as Stephen Shore and William Eggleston, eight years ago, he began taking pictures with his phone and posting them to Instagram. Now, Percoco has over 50,000 followers on his Instagram page, @therainbow_is_underestimated, and has published two photobooks.

An observation of everyday life in his hometown, Sannicandro di Bari in Puglia, Italy, Piero Percoco’s photographs provide a journey into the photographer’s imagination and emotions. “In my work, I try to base myself on an energetic or emotional level, and in this new situation, I am discovering new emotions,” says the photographer, who has been spending lockdown with his parents at home. “We are all experiencing this situation collectively, but we are perceiving differently. It’s affecting each one of us in a personal way.”

Image © Piero Percoco
Image © Piero Percoco

Working during lockdown is “not all that different” for Percoco. He continues to document his surroundings, but, apart from shopping for necessities, it is forbidden to go out by law, providing only a small window for Percoco to photograph.

Still, the pandemic has brought about a period of reflection for the photographer, during which he has found a renewed sense of refuge in nature. “It is necessary for the well-being of the planet, a time where we can ease our usual chokehold on the natural world,” he says,  “I hope there is more awareness in among humans after all this. I am positive”.

Below, Percoco shares the scenes he has captured during his period of isolation, and a diary entry he has written to accompany his observations.

28.03.20

“It is not all that different from what I have always lived and done: boredom, desperation and emptiness have been the foundations that have shaped my work and research. Now, at this moment, it is different. My psychological outlook has been changing from one hour to the next, in a positive way, because I have always had to find the positives in everything, even in the worst events of my life. Did I have an option?”

Image © Piero Percoco

“It is not all that different from what I have always lived and done: boredom, desperation and emptiness have been the foundations that have shaped my work and research. Now, at this moment, it is different. My psychological outlook has been changing from one hour to the next, in a positive way, because I have always had to find the positives in everything, even in the worst events of my life. Did I have an option?

I continue seeing, still, for the umpteenth time, what surrounds me, every day, in an even more different way, it comes as an absurd distortion, how could I explain it?”

“The mundanity that has always gotten the better of me, seems to have forever transformed, its energy feels different. Is it temporary?”

“My house, my neighbourhood, the places I have visited over and over since I can remember since I was born. The path through the grass behind my house, it is different. How many paths behind people’s homes have changed?

I have never seen my path from so close, very close. I would never have felt such a sensation if it wasn’t for what we all find ourselves in. Why does collective pain bring out the details in my mundanity?

The mundanity that has always gotten the better of me, seems to have forever transformed, its energy feels different. Is it temporary?”

I try to note it all, especially the temporary, through photography as I have always done, but I am rediscovering something that was eaten to the bone; nature. Are you also?

Are you there?”

Piero Percoco is selling prints of his work. Enquiries can be made to: percoco.fail@gmail.com

Marigold Warner

Marigold Warner joined the British Journal Photography in April 2018, and currently holds the position of Deputy Commissioning Editor. This was preceded by a degree in English Literature and History of Art at the University of Leeds, followed by an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London. Her work has been published by titles including the Telegraph Magazine, Disegno, and the Architects Journal.

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