Renato Marcialis

Renato was born at 7:40 am on May 15, 1956 in Venice after his two older brothers Riccardo and Roberto. He is the third “R” added to the Marcialis family, whose will is to have all sons with the initials RM.

Renato’s Venice imprinting comes from his very strongly traditional family, firmly run by his mother Giuseppina and his father Gino – the kind of family represented in the best plays written by the famous eighteenth century Venetian writer Luca Goldoni. The meaning of the name Renato, “reborn,” is the theme this artist follows in his ever-renewing life. When he turns three, his family moves to Verona to follow his father’s new career opportunity and a year later his sister Betty is born.

Milan will be Renato’s final destination. He has lived in Italy’s most important industrial city since 1964, while developing and refining his artistic sensitivity. The origins of Renato’s unique inspiration can be traced back to his own very independent creativity mixed with the artistic inheritance of his family – his grandfather Enzo was a chef on cruise boats, his uncle Gastone was a chef Cordon Bleu de France, and his father was one of the best known barmen of his time. His main passion as an adolescent is pop music. He founds a music band and starts neglecting school and his family. His father’s response is swift and determined. It becomes essential for him to regain control of his rebellious son and channel his exuberant energy. To be sure where to find him, at least Monday through Saturday, Renato’s father finds his son a job as an intern for a photographic studio.

Renato Marcialis - Dentro lo Studio

On March 3, at 8:30 am, Renato’s career begins. This internship puts him in contact with the daily work of his employers, two professional photographers specialized in company meetings, conventions, and weddings.Two years later he finds a position as a printer in a different studio where he works for a photographer specialized in industrial photography, dealing mostly with lamps, toys, and gift items. His new world consists of a 4-foot-wide darkroom where he manages put in a nice hi-fi, and smoke without damaging the very sensitive photographic paper. Six months later, at the age of 17, Renato threatens to leave if not allowed to shoot. His request is satisfied and his potential as a photographer is recognized. In the meantime his older brother Riccardo, who had been working as an art director for years, is now ready for a new adventure. He wants to open his own photographic studio specializing in food photography. In 1976 Riccardo proposes that his brother join in, and the two brothers will work together for ten years.

In 1984 Renato feels it is time for a turning point in his career and decides to open a photographic studio on his own. He is “reborn” again, as a free professional photographer, working for the next five years as a still life, industrial, and fashion photographer and reporter. Very soon his name and work will appear in different publications and specialized magazines. His talent is awarded in Venice in 1991 together with Oliviero Toscani e Vittorio Storaro. The same year he wins the Golden Mamiya in Numana, a village in the Italian region Marche.

In 1992 another twist in his career takes him back to his family’s culinary influence. Renato decides to specialize exclusively in food photography. Since then, he has worked for food companies taking pictures for catalogues, recipes books, packaging, advertising-campaigns, and posters. He has realized about fifty books on food and cocktails, his images have been used all over the world and sought for by the main photography agencies. He is often invited to give workshops and seminars by the main design and photography schools and institutions.
And that’s not all….

… and after putting down my put brush, I drew instead with a light beam colors otherwise hidden by an incommensurable darkness.

This technique embodies the perspective applied in all my photographs.The painter’s brush dipped in colors is substituted by a ray of light I move to lighten subjects and compositions. Another peculiarity is printing my images on fine art canvas Epson and finishing them with a coat of protecting varnish painted on by hand. This technique, the marks left by the brush strokes on the surface of the canvas, and the canvas itself, often mislead my audience into thinking they are looking at oil paintings and not photographs. These images remind me of Michelangelo Merisi, better known as Caravaggio. I am inspired by his revolutionary naturalism expressed through the elements and atmosphere of his paintings.

The plasticity of his subjects stressed by a peculiar lighting theatrically emphasizes their shapes suddenly coming out of the darkness.There are only a few canvases where this Northern-Italian author paints the background in detail. He leaves it instead on a secondary plain, making the subjects the real and only protagonists in his works of art.Caravaggio would place lanterns in specific places in his studio so the elements would only be partially lit by a “grazing light”. Through this artifice, Caravaggio highlighted the parts of the scene he considered most interesting, leaving the rest to the surrounding darkness. I am a photographer specialized in food and beverage, and with my intrinsic irony I named this collection “Caravaggio in the Kitchen”. Why did I call it “Caravaggio in the Kitchen”? Because I like to imagine that Caravaggio, while wandering about the rooms and corridors of one of his clients’ palaces, came across a huge kitchen, where all the ingredients were casually arranged in a luxurious composition. And what did he do? He took