Claudio Barontini

Claudio Barontini was born in Leghorn in the historic district of Borgo Cappuccini in 1954. His passion for art began at a very early age. In 1969 he attended the Trossi Uberti Academy of Figurative Art in Leghorn. At sixteen he began to cultivate another parallel passion, music. He studied double bass at the conservatory and played the electric double bass in a rock band. In 1973 he joined the orchestra of the famous singer Milva and played and took part in concerts with her all over the world. It was in that period that he bought a reflex camera and took photos in Paris and Frankfurt. In 1977 he bought the legendary Nikon F2 with photomic and photographed New York, Boston, Hamburg and St. Petersburg (still Leningrad at the time). In 1979, while still pursuing the profession of musician, he began to collaborate as a free-lance photographer for the “culture and shows” page of the newspaper Il Tirreno. In 1982 he carried out a long photographic research project accompanied by “live” testimonies, entitled Leghorn-Paris-Côte D’Azur and focusing on the places lived in by the painter Amedeo Modigliani. Some of these images were purchased in 1984 by the Progressive Museum of Contemporary Art of Villa Maria in Leghorn and others were exhibited in various shows such as Homage to Modigliani in Paris at the Museum of Montmartre. In 1990 he became a professional photo journalist and began his career with a publication in the magazine L’Europeo. In 1994 he met the sculptor Pietro Cascella and thus began a relationship of mutual esteem, friendship and collaboration which lasted up to 2008, the year of the great Italian artist’s death. In 1995 he was invited to participate as a free-lance photographer for the zero issues of the Mondadori project for the weekly magazine Chi. In his career he has made portraits of hundreds of celebrities including: Patti Smith, Vivienne Westwood, Lindsay Kemp, Susan Sarandon, Vittorio Gassman, Franco Zeffirelli, Sarah Ferguson, Pietro Cascella, Prince Charles. He has had innumerable artistic collaborations with and publications in periodicals including L’Europeo, Epoca, Corriere della Sera, Il Mondo, Chi, Gente, Oggi, Arte, Vanity Fair, Diva e Donna, Daily Mail, Hello, OK Magazine, Wine Spectator, Sunday Mirror, News of the World, New York Post, Paris Match, Bunte, !Hola, Gala and many others. In 2018 and 2019 he was invited to lecture for the online Journalism course of the master’s degree in Humanist Computer Science of the University of Pisa.

by Claudio Barontini