Photojournalist Gabriele Micalizzi Gets Up Close and Personal to War

A split image showing contrasting scenes: on the left, a soldier firing a rocket launcher in a sandy desert; on the right, a bullet-riddled window displaying an elegant dress.

Photojournalist Gabriele Micalizzi’s first exhibition is now open in Milan, Italy, at the renowned 29 Arts in Progress gallery.

Micalizzi has captured images in conflict areas for years, documenting historically significant moments worldwide. His photography has taken him to Egypt, Libya, Palestine, Syria, and Ukraine, among other locations. His images are featured in the exhibit “A Kind of Beauty,” which is active through Friday, June 28.

“Gabriele has an extraordinary ability to synthesize; he manages to combine poetry, power, and beauty in a single shot. His photographs, even the most explicit ones, are a metaphorical expression of a wider, more complex reality that leads the viewer to ask questions about events, mankind and the nature of conflicts,” Tiziana Castelluzzo, the exhibit curator, says.

 A black and white image of a vintage, ornate metal door slightly ajar with a human hand visible between the opening. the door features intricate patterns and textures.

 A dynamic black and white photograph of a protest. a person wearing a gas mask leaps through a cloud of smoke amidst a chaotic backdrop of demonstrators and signs.

 View through a damaged wall opening showing a derelict urban scene with a wrecked car, scattered debris, and palm trees in the background.

A wedding dress displayed in a bullet-riddled window of a damaged building, symbolizing stark contrast between beauty and destruction.

“Gabriele not only portrays war, but he experiences it first hand by standing next to the fighters, in the middle of the scene, whilst facing their same risks. His shots portray not only what he sees, but his entire emotional baggage too. Gabriele’s gaze however is never judgemental, but it is free and open, as though it were guided by a need for clarity and understanding of the most intimate and humane aspects of the facts of history.”

The exhibition has selected standouts from Micalizzi’s larger archive “starting from the Arab revolutions, passing through the conflicts in the Middle Eastern against the caliphate through to the current conflicts in the Ukraine and Palestine,” according to a release. Not only will these be available at the Italian gallery, “A Kind of Beauty” will also be accessible through a 3D viewing room online, allowing for greater accessibility to Micalizzi’s work.

 Weathered neoclassical pediment with sculptural figures on a building, showing signs of damage and decay against a clear sky.

A person with outstretched arms holding flaming objects stands in a smoky, desolate landscape, emphasizing a dramatic or protest-like scene.

A black-and-white photo of a person running through a water cannon spray during a protest, with banners waving and urban buildings in the background.

 A woman in a black hijab stands to the left, watching a man with a painted face and dark clothing run through a smoky, barren landscape.

 Soldiers in camouflage uniforms practice an assault, firing weapons amid a dusty, sandy environment with a clear sky overhead.

“According to Gabriele, the war is like a theatre, a term used in the military environment to define the conflict zone, where everyone has a specific role, in a certain scene and in a limited amount of time,” reads the release announcing Micalizzi’s debut exhibition. “The photojournalist’s task is to illustrate and narrate using a single weapon: the camera, the only available means that becomes a tool of action to share that stage where emotions run high, expand, and are exacerbated, friendships are consolidated or lost, and solidarity becomes a primary and essential need.”

Entry to “A Kind of Beauty,” both in person and online, is free. For additional information, visit the 29 Arts in Progress website.

Image credits: Photographs by Gabriele Micalizzi