Stories

Subway Zen

© gabrielelopez
Subway Zen
Milan, Italy, 2016 commuters in the morning to the trains

I started to take these photographs casually, in those endless hour spent traveling back and forth during my 9 to 5 years…Like millions of other people, I have done this kind of life for years.

Subway can be an outstanding teather of human life situations if we’re open to different possibilities. I have taken photographs since 2005 on a daily basis in every subway and today is more common to observe 90% of passengers hiding and lost observing a smartphone screen rather than watching around and interacting.

Milan, Italy, 2005 woman pointing to light

In the underground you end up losing your accurately built identity when you are surrounded by the crowd. You may be a manager or a street sweeper and it doesn’t matter anymore. Your space and your privacy are revisited and even space for breathing is not for granted. Our ancient sense of smell faces many strangers.

Your status is deleted, everyone can’t wait to reach surface again.

Eye games, meetings, distance, earphones, books and the damn smartphone become defense weapons and stories of people I can only imagine that for some stops or dozen minutes live together between fascination and indifference shades. Someone will steal some extra minute of sleep, someone will get lost out of the window and someone will do everything except just wait. Some will day/night dreaming.

My little camera helps me to face and understand all this, teaches me to look and see where it’s supposed there’s nothing to see and record and notice things I would lose if without a camera and my obsession for pictures. Translator, mask, protection.

This is my train and this is my ride.

Milano, Italy, 2018 Employee on his way back
Milan, 2007 a girl loses his face for a second in favor of a magazine ad.
Milan, 2009. Formal employee, one of the many meetings I can’t remember the face…
Milan, 2010 Girl falls asleep coming home at night
Milan, 2017 Lovers on the ride
Milano, 2017 Crowd going outside during the rush hour
Milano, 2019 Girl waiting for someone in the tube
Milano, 2006 Lovers keep staying together on the steps rush moments.
Milan, 2017 traveling
Milan 20/04/2018 Rush hour
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Gabriele Lopez
the authorGabriele Lopez
Gabriele Lopez, class 1974.
I started to take photographs as a child, with a Polaroid camera that was a gift for an occasion that I forgot. With that simple camera I started to record what was around me.
Today not that much has changed in this sense.
The photography I love is a daily diary, fragments of pictures, that together mean the sense of my existence, my way of expressing, understand and live life itself, fixing what I want to live again. Print is of top importance in this process, taking those memories under the form of self-made 'zines and books is the most common conclusion for this camera work.
With some friend we founded the "DIY Nights" project, that cares about producing and distribute personal independent projects on paper that end up in many exhibitions whenever we have a chance, in a simple and direct way. Some of my personal works are represented by Millenium Images in London and I work with Mohole Academy in Milano.

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