My pictures are concerned with fundamental aspects of humanity. Loneliness, a search for an all-consuming faith, mortality, love, dignity, despair, and joy are the stories I attempt to show in a way that pleases the formal aspects of light and composition.
– Renato Rampolla
We all have a Light-within. Renato Rampolla finds, sees, and photographs that light to show that despite the state of humanity, there is dignity…No Matter What! We were introduced in an email by Dennis J. Pitocco, Founder, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of BizCatalyst 360°. I just had to interview Renato on the Kat Kanavos Show Video Podcast on New Earth TV which is posted at the bottom of this article for your viewing pleasure.
Renato is the son of a figurative artist and has been taking photographs since childhood. At an early age, he learned the basics of composition, photography, and sculpting from his father, then went on to study art further while in college. According to Artsy, Figurative Art is a general category for artworks that represent recognizable material in the visible world, as opposed to abstract art. The variety of approaches to figurative art is enormous and almost as diverse as the history of art itself. In painting, figuration ranges from Photorealism like that of Chuck Close to nearly abstract like Pablo Picasso’s Analytic Cubism.
Figurative painting was largely ignored by the Western “avant-garde” for much of the 20th century, but the course changed with the 1980s emergence of figurative painters like Anselm Kiefer, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and David Salle.
The driving force behind Renato’s work is capturing humanity in all of its places and all its layers.
Renato is a street photographer who makes his home in Florida. In addition to photography, he is an accomplished guitarist and figurative sculptor. According to Wikipedia, street photography is also called candid photography which is photography conducted for art or inquiry that features unmediated chance encounters and random incidents within public places.
“I simply respectfully sit down next to a homeless person and offer them a cup of coffee. Soon we are chatting like old friends, and when they are comfortable with me I begin taking pictures during their story,” Renato says during the Video Podcast Interview.
Renato shares time and space with the homeless in Tampa Bay, and in so doing finds they all have incredible life-stories filled with priceless life-lessons. And, it is during the sharing of this time-and-space with the homeless that Street Photographer Renato Rampollo captures their Light-within, and their Dignity No Matter What.
Many of the stories bring to mind the phrase, “But by the Grace of God…” And, all the photos in his book have the same impact on the reader; “WOW!”
Although we may think that taking someone’s photograph as an everyday occurrence with the advent of smart-phones but consider the notion that there are cultures that hold the belief that taking a picture of a person “steals his or her soul. According to the Skeptical Inquirer, ancient cultures and some current third-world ones shared this belief and did not want their souls captured in a box. However, Renato gave the world a glimpse of the beautiful souls of our homeless. Yes, those souls we hurry past or step over in our daily rush to get our “stuff” done. In the photographs, their light within shone so brightly it created a breathtaking message… “I have worth and dignity, no matter what.”
Blanket Tampa Bay is also one of Renato’s loves. He is putting his money where his mouth is, and walking-his-walk while talking-his-talk at functions by donating all the proceeds from his book Dignity No Matter What: The Light Within, to Blanket the Homeless in Tampa Bay.
So, the next time you see a homeless person sitting on a bench, or on the ground, take a second out of your busy day to simply acknowledge them with a smile, nod, or cup of coffee. Let your light-with embrace their dignity. and vise versa.
Please enjoy the show ⤵︎
Learn more about Renato Rampolla via his WEBSITE.
Learn more about Blanket Tampa Bay from a Video Podcast Interview done with the founder “Faith it ‘Till You Make it” Beth Ross on the Kat Kanavos Show HERE ⤵︎
- Renato Rampolla | Lensculture, https://www.lensculture.com/renato-rampolla
- Figurative Art | Artsy, https://www.artsy.net/gene/figurative-art#! https://www.artsy.net/unsupported-browser
- Warner Marien, Mary (2012). 100 ideas that changed photography. London: Laurence King Publishing. p. 169. ISBN 978-1-85669-793-4.