Photography Without Words #1 - Being Carlo Mollino: Women & Furniture


This is the first issue of our "Photography Without Words" series that we dedicate to beautiful or intriguing pictures that speak for themselves. While we introduce the photographers and provide you with further information at the end of the article, we leave the pictures themselves without sub-titles or comments. "A picture is worth a thousand words" they say, we simply invite you to trust your senses and visual emotions, that's all.

We have decided to present the works of Carlo Mollino, an Italian architect and designer who had many extravagant passions that made his life both colourful and adventurous. This quote from Mollino says it all:

"Everything is permissible as long as it is fantastic"


"Carlo Mollino (1905-1973) was possessed of both tremendous energy and incredibly diverse abilities: famed as an architect and furniture designer, he was also a writer, photographer, race-car driver and downhill skier. His private life was no less intense. Mollino had a closely guarded obsession with erotic portraiture, and would regularly invite prostitutes from the streets of Turin to come to his home and pose for him. The scenes were carefully prepared: the models would dress (or partially undress) in costumes, accessories and wigs that Mollino had acquired on trips to France or Southeast Asia, and pose before backdrops of drapery, screens and sculptural furniture. Despite the furtive circumstances of their production, these portraits express the aesthetics of Mollino's more public photographs, as the models appear more statuesque than pornographic. Likewise, the opulent interiors and opulent furnishings of Mollino's private homes in Turin, the Villa Zaira and what is now known as Casa Mollino serve as crucial components of the compositions. In 1962, Mollino began to employ Polaroid film for these shoots, eventually making some 1,300 exposures before his death in 1973."

(Source: Un Messaggio dalla Camera Oscura, to be published in Feburary 2012)  


Carlo Mollino women

Carlo Mollino women 2

Carlo Mollino women 3 

Carlo Mollino women 4

Carlo Mollino women 5 


Carlo Mollino furniture

Carlo Mollino furniture 2

Carlo Mollino furniture 3

Carlo Mollino furniture 4


Carlo Mollino in the sky


You can start with the wikipedia entry.


Carlo Mollino: Un Messaggio dalla Camera Oscura (2012), by Napoleone Ferrari, Lucas Gehrmann

Carlo Mollino: Arabeschi (2006), by Fulvio Ferrari, Napoleone Ferrari 

Carlo Mollino: Photographs 1956-1962 (2006), Carlo Mollino 

Carlo Mollino: Polaroids, by Fulvio Ferrari, Napoleone Ferrari

Carlo Mollino: Architecture as Autobiography (2006), by Giovanni Brino

Carlo Mollino: The Furniture of Carlo Mollino (2006), by Fulvio Ferrari, Napoleone Ferrari