Stefano Torrione talks about American Chrome

No one can describe a book better than the author himself.

 

Therefore, we asked the popular photographer Stefano Torrione to tell us more about his last work: American Chrome.

 

We would like to thank him for his friendliness and give him the floor.

 

“This is a book which collects all of my first photographs. These were shot in the USA back in 1990/91 at a time when photography wasn’t my job yet, but merely a great passion of mine. Back then, I had moved to San Francisco to live the American dream emphasised by cinema, literature and music. The States have always been a model for my generation, a destiny.

At the time, I used to photograph with Kodachrome, the legendary reversal film used by the greatest colour photographers such as Ernst Haas and many others. I hadn’t been commissioned to produce photographs like those I took of the old Italians in North Beach, San Francisco’s “Little Italy”.

Among them, the meeting which stands out is the one with Lawrence Ferlinghetti, the poet of Italian origin who founded City Lights and who was also publisher of the Beat Generation such as Ginsberg and, above all, Jack Kerouac. With his best seller book On The Road, the latter inspired indeed thousands of teenagers like me to drive through the US highways.

My new book American Chrome depicts many images taken during several journeys from the East to the West in Kansas, from Texas’ flat landscape up to New Mexico’s motel signs, from car racing in Indianapolis to New York.

In order to print this book, I worked intensely on scanning the films produced more than thirty years ago, but still perfectly preserved, and on post-producing the images themselves. My qualitative goal was to be able to transfer the specific features of Kodachrome’s film to the offset printings, that is colour saturation, the materiality traits and the peculiarity of pastel shades.

During this process, I received full-on support by Printer Trento’s press technicians. I have been collaborating with this company for ages, having already printed other 5 books of mine by far.
The choice of Ultramatt paper requires unerring sagacity in the printing process due to its strong ink absorption.

Printer Trento’s greater competence and experience allowed us to reach a high-quality result, which matched my expectations. This is how AMERICAN CHROME was born, my frontier, my little West.”