Gusmano Cesaretti | Italian, 1944 -
Gusmano Cesaretti, is a self-taught photographer and artist from Lucca, Italy. A resident of Los Angeles since 1969, Cesaretti has been capturing the sound, light, and emotional tenor of his adopted city through the lens of his camera.
One of the first photographers to document the East Los Angeles street culture as early as 1970, Cesaretti immersed himself in the Chicano lifestyle. His photographs of this era celebrated a sub-culture that had rarely been captured before. He curated numerous exhibitions, beginning with projects at his gallery Cityscape Foto Gallery, founded in Pasadena, California in 1977. His work was featured in the 2010 groundbreaking show Art in the Streets at the Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles) in which he was also actively involved in arranging major works by Los Angeles graffiti writers and creating a dedicated section of the exhibit to The Chosen Few motorcycle club. From 2011-2014 he shot the documentary film Take None Give None, a portrait of the Chosen Few motorcycle club based in South Central Los Angeles.
In 2014 he began publishing Los Angeles FOTOFOLIO, an underground journal of exclusively black and white photographs by well-known and emerging photographers to visually stimulate those who had not been exposed to photography as an art form. Distributed as a free publication anywhere from institutions to housing projects in East Los Angeles and South Central, Los Angeles FOTOFOLIO has made its way into Europe and Asia.
Cesaretti's photographs have been exhibited at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University, and in 2008 he participated in a major collaborative exhibition titled This Side of Paradise: Body and Landscape in Los Angeles Photographs at the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens (San Marino). His works are in the permanent collections of the Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles) and the Smithsonian Institution (Washington, D.C).
Cesaretti's photographs have been published in several books including Asahi Camera Magazine (Japan 1975), Street Writers - A Guided Tour of Chicano Graffiti (Acrobat U.S.A. 1975), 5 x 5 = 24 (xx Kabuki, U.S.A. 1979), 8 EZ STEPS (Arte Povera - Gato Negro, Mexico 2015), Fragments of Los Angeles 1969-1989 (Damiani Books, Italy 2013), Dentro Le Mura/Inside the Walls (Arte Povera, U.S.A. 2014), and Maria Sabina: En Busca de Cristo Negro / In Search of Black Christ (Arte Povera - Gato Negro in association with Conaculata, Mexico 2014). He has contributed photographs to CAMERA: Los Angeles Documentary Project 1981, Lucerne Switzerland 1981), 24 Hours in the Life of Los Angeles: A Photo Book Event (Alfred Van Der Marck Editions, New York 1984), This Side of Paradise: Body and Landscapes in Los Angeles Photographs (Merrill Publishers Ltd, London 2008), and Art in the Streets (Rizzoli, New York 2011)
Cesaretti plays a vital role in creating the look and feel of films and has worked closely with directors Michael Mann, Tony Scott and Marc Forster on films such as Blackhat, Unstoppable, Public Enemies, The Taking of Pelham 123, Quantum of Solace, Miami Vice, Stay, Domino, Collateral, Ali, The Insider, Heat, Last of the Mohicans, Manhunter and Thief.