For anyone interested in primitive cultures and field photography as high art, this stunning volume by Gianni Giansanti, the renowned author of Vanishing Africa, provides an exceedingly intimate and sympathetic portrait of indigenous peoples in their most purposeful aspect. Trekking ever deeper into the mysterious heart of undocumented—and endangered—aboriginal Africa, the birthplace of humanity, Giansanti captures the extraordinary masks, plumage, and adornment used by warriors in the remotest regions to invoke martial magic. Each photo is a masterpiece of abstract art that demonstrates how the natives use their bodies as canvases, painting their scarified flesh with pigments made from powdered volcanic rock and adorning themselves with flowers, leaves, grasses, shells, and animal horns. Giansanti employs virtuoso techniques of chiaroscuro, stark contrasts of texture and color, and jarring juxtapositions of the primordial and the modern to produce a rare and surreal glimpse into an eerily exotic and timeless way of life.
Gianni Giansanti is an internationally renowned photojournalist and the author of several bestselling photo essays, including Vanishing Africa, published by White Star Publishers in 2005. He began his career in Italy in 1978, documenting many momentous papal events, terrorism by the Red Brigade, the eruption of Mount Etna, and activity by the Camorra crime syndicate. His reportage around the world has earned him many prestigious international awards.
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