During his exceptional career as a fine art photographer, Aurelio Amendola devoted himself to the field of contemporary art. Amendola has created an archive of portraits of the most renowned masters of the 19th century, a sort of gallery of illustrious men in art history along with the standard bearers of 20th-century art like De Chirico, Pomodoro, Schifano, Lichtenstein, and Warhol.
Thanks to his long personal relationships with many renowned fine artists like Manzù, Fabbri, Ceroli, Vangi, Kounellis, and Pistoletto, he has published countless monographs accompanied by his photographs. His friendship with Marino Marini and Alberto Burri, unforgettable companions on the road and in life, was invaluable. At the same time, Amendola stands out for his famous photographs of Italian Renaissance sculptures or, more broadly, for those devoted to the classical tradition. He intimately understands their volumes, three-dimensionality, and contrasts. Each picture offers a viewpoint that is a decided departure from a documentary approach inspired by a tactile, emotional, and sensory vision.
His career begins with the famous volume Il pulpito di Giovanni Pisano a Pistoia (1969.) This first photographic campaign (1964) was followed by many others, tracing the subject between rigorous precision and ever-changing interpretation, primarily through the use of light. His interest in antiquity developed into numerous other photographic projects capturing masterworks from Donatello, Bernini, and Michelangelo. He has dedicated multiple catalogs, exhibitions, and monographs to the latter’s marbles – a sort of alter ego and constant inspiration. In 1994 Amendola won the Oscar Goldoni Prize for the best photographic book of the year with the book Un occhio su Michelangelo (about the Medici Chapels in Florence). He worked with grand themes in Italian art, producing masterpieces, as evidenced by the volumes on St. Peter’s Basilica, where he displays elegant perspectives, unexpected details, and unprecedented views.
Over the years, Amendola has experimented constantly with high contrast printing, juxtapositions, unique cropping, and point-of-view compositions. He revitalizes the ancient into the contemporary or gives the modern a classical treatment. Each time he manages to create timeless photographic sequences. Through his art, the marbles of Canova, Michelangelo, and Bernini appear as flesh, coming to life.
His works are part of many prestigious private and public collections; among them, Fondazione Maramotti in Reggio Emilia, GAM in Turin, Fondazione Arnaldo Pomodoro in Milan, MAXXI in Rome, Fondazione Alberto Burri in Città di Castello, Uffizi, Palazzo Fabroni in Pistoia, Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Pistoia e Pescia. His national and international exhibitions are many, and he has received endless honors among them, the Cino da Pistoia Prize (1997), Il Micco (2012), Academic Diploma Honoris Causa in Visual Arts and title of Accademico d’Italia (2014, Accademia di Belle Arti di Catanzaro), the docufilm Obiettivo sull’arte (2015, directed by Beatrice Corti), the prize Una vita per l’arte (Gaeta, 2016). In November 2009, alongside other artists, he was received by Pope Benedict XVI in the Sistine Chapel. In February 2021, his hometown Pistoia dedicated an exhibition to him entitled Un’Antologia (An Anthology), curated by Paola Goretti and Marco Meneguzzo.