Gildardo Gallo is a talented Mexican photographer living and working in Italy since 1999. In 2003 he opened his own studio in Florence: Zona-X.

I had the pleasure of getting to know Gildardo recently by chance, and felt that his works – and way of working – are amazing. He is able to set up immediately a true empathy with the model he’s working with, and has a genuine taste and sense of construction of the images, which are extremely accurate and perfect in the use of lighting and space.

Gallo’s “heroes” are actually portrayed in all their fragile humanity. They are bandaged with gauze dressings or with barbed wire, or they close their eyelids in front of the camera. Their gaze is an inner gaze, turned toward theirselves: they are not at all like super heroes, but rather looking outward with closed eyes, to admire role models to refer to.

Image composition leaves nothing to improvisation but at the same time does not fall into the tedium of academicism. The focus is on the sharp edges of the faces and bodies of his subjects, the backgrounds are neutral but consciously recall movies and quotes, like Apocalypse Now or Blade Runner. [Ariko

“I dream with my eyes open the dark night that illuminates life, amorphous beings wearing masks of happiness, I run from the life that has been a gift, from ambition and hypocrisy in search for my own glory, the most narrow and difficult path.”