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is Brazilian by birth and stateless by nature and profession. She has lived in Europe since 1986 and has established in Italy after a short period living in London. She currently lives in Milan, Italy.
For eight years, Silva worked for several important film production companies as the First Assistant Director alongside such renowned international directors as Robert Richardson, Federico Brugia, Daniele Lucchetti, Zack Snyder, and Renzo Martinelli, among others.
JOINING PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY
2001 marked Silva’s professional photography debut. That year, she collaborated with multiple record labels including Sony Music, EMI, Edel and BMG, shooting a series of CD covers for various Italian music artists such as Sergio Cammariere, Dolcenera, Mario Venuti, Noemi, Matteo Becucci, and Samuele Bersani.
Since the beginning of her photographic career she has also worked with the publishers of numerous Italian magazines including Max, Dove Viaggi, Flair, Vanity Fair, Io Donna, Style, Magazine, Myself, Sette, Panorama Travel, I Viaggi del Sole, Corriere della Sera.
In 2008, Silva became a Nikon Pro Photographer, carrying out different photographic projects all over the world in collaboration with Nikon Italia and various bureau of foreign tourism.
In 2009, UNESCO ambassador Edith Tamagnini assigned her to develop the photographic campaign of the book Libertà Perpetua – San Marino Patrimonio dell’Umanità, published by Minerva Edizioni and sponsored by Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di San Marino.
In 2010, in partnership with Nital, Silva gave lessons as a teacher for the Nikon School. In 2011 she worked with two more of the most important name brands in professional photography – Hasselblad and the Manfrotto School of Xcellence – for a series of conferences and workshops in Italy and overseas regarding the psychology of portraiture. Manfrotto confirmed her as one of their ambassadors that same year.
In 2010, another important collaboration was established between Monica and Corriere della Sera in which she often shot projects for the special Sunday magazine La Lettura, the Corriere’s insert about Art and Literature. Silva also worked with contemporary artist Gianluigi Colin, with her shots of his work published in art books such as Miti (Myths) by Skira, and museum catalogues for his exhibitions.
Also in 2011, Silva shot the Biennale of International Art as a Corriere della Sera correspondent, and her portrait Dorfles infinito e lo sguardo a Ghirri won an award as Best Picture Ex Aequo, given by the Biennale’s president Paolo Barata, the Illuminations curator Bice Curiger and the artist Shibana Shibaz. Another high point was reached when Silva’s picture Missing You, a fine art nude, arrived amongst the three finalists out of 5,000 participants in the Showdown SCOPE New York contest by Saatchi Online Gallery.
In 2012, Hasselblad partnered with FIMA (Federazione Italiana Mercanti D’Arte), and Silva was among the photographers selected to shoot the project Obiettivi Antiquari. This photographic exhibition was aimed at collecting funds for the charity Cure2Children by portraying antique dealers with an artistic view and in a modern style. The exhibition opened on January 2012 at the prestigious Palazzo Castiglioni in Milan and continued showing publicly in many other events promoted by Hasselblad and the Arnaldo Pavesi Fine Art Gallery. That year, Silva also started working with the Alvin Grassi Design Studio shooting many interior design jobs.
Between 2011 and 2012, Silva was given numerous assignments in foreign countries, most notably in Tokyo, Hong Kong, Shenzen, Sao Paulo, Bahia, Shangai, Grecia, Turchia, Madrid, Paris, Amsterdam, and Kenya. Her work included reportage on Salvador, Bahia by Max magazine; reportage about Sao Paulo, her hometown – one of the liveliest towns in South America – published in La Lettura in Corriere della Sera, written by the Brazilian writer Milton Hatoun; in Asia for the Tokyo Hasselblad Open Studio Event, Silva gave a workshop on the psychology of portraiture for the project, My Hidden Ego. During her stay in Asia she was also given an assignment by an eminent Architecture Office in Hong Kong; at the end of July, Silva shot reportage for Max magazine, going behind-the-scenes on board the huge Royal Caribbean shops. In 2013, she signed a contract with the Mondadori Portfolio agency, thus enriching her photographic parterre of celebrities.
TURNING INTO ARTS
Throughout the year 2013 to 2014 she published books and catalogues for a number of artists, Gianluigi Colin and Marco Nereo Rotelli among them. That summer, Silva presented a public exhibition entitled Beautiful China, in association with the Chinese government and the Milan City Hall in Via Dante in the heart of the city. In that same period, her work was exhibited in New York in a group show at the See.Me Gallery. Silva was also sent by Corriere della Sera to the Biennale of International Art for the second time. The portrait Lucinda Matlock, from her project Life Above All, was auctioned on a charity fund raising by Christie’s in October.
After so many different professional experiences Silva still felt the need to express herself in a more creative way, taking some distance from her business duties. For this reason she approached the world of artistic photography, concentrating her attention on complex, personal projects like Life Above All (2008), an interpretation of Edgar Lee Masters’ collection of poems, Spoon River Anthology. This project was shown at Mazzoleni Galleria D’Arte in Milan, at Galleria Stefano Forni in Bologna (where the exhibition was titled Suggestions from Spoon River) and, finally, in an event organized by Galleria Stefano Forni at the Abbazia di Pomposa in Codigoro (where it was presented as Le Donne di Spoon River).
Silva’s next project was On My Skin, a nude photography project presented on the occasion of the Arte Fiera 2010 event which took place in Bologna, in association with Galleria Stefano Forni and Open Project. In April 2011, in cooperation with Mercurio Promozioni, came the opening at Palazzo Pichi Sforza in Sansepolcro (AR) of the exhibition and interactive performance L’Io dentro Me (My Hidden Ego).
L’Io dentro Voi (Your Hidden Ego), a workshop focusing on the psychology of portraiture, is the natural evolution of that exhibition and is supported by prestigious brands as Hasselblad, Profoto e Manfrotto.
2013 ended on a graceful note with the solo exhibition The Butterfly’s Fall – Postcards from Tokyo, which included photos and video installations which took place at Nuova Galleria Morone in Milan.
2014 comes to life a new project “LUX ET FILUM – A contemporary Vision of Caravaggio” Launched in Sao Paulo, Brazil with the support of REDA Fine Fabrics on September and critic essay by Denis Curti. Follows an exhibition at the Istituto di Cultura Italia in Sao Paulo, Brazil on march 2015.
2015 a new project with art food, a reflection on the transience of life: “Banana Golden Pop Art” an homage to Andy Warhol is an extraction of the project and in exhibition at MIA FAIR 2015 with Stll Gallery run by Denis Curti. Follows a new exhibition at the AFFORDABLE ART FAIR in Hamburg with the spanish gallery Gaudi from Madrid.
2016 Galleria Bianconi presents “Lux Et Filum – A contemporary Vision of Caravaggio at the MIA FAIR for the first time in Italy contemplati a great success from public and media.
“Monica Silva has posed poetry by dressing it up with color … made of it’s shadows, a film in a stream of emotions …” Franco Basile
“Monica Silva’s works are only apparently simple. If we observe them carefully, we will realize that in an world in which many people now seem to copy ideas and styles, she is capable to think with her own head and experiment, even taking the risk of not being fully understood.” Barbara Silbe
Corriere della Sera:
“Monica Silva in photography sees a body as a working surface, an opportunity to experiment and create a new message within the skin’s textures….” Gianluigi Colin
In My hidden ego project, the subjec surprises by taking the “risk” of revealing their bare soul, in order to carve out a moment of fame ending up on the other side of the lens, showing all their brutal authenticity and essence. A perfectly successful experiment that confirms once again Monica Silva’s ability, to go beyond barriers and deeply read other people’s inner self. Dino Del Vescovo
Foaiano Photography Festival:
In Monica Silva’s works you can find people and landscapes in an unambiguous and characteristic view of the four corners of the planet, in a light and colorful composition, where places are settings for expressions, where days are subtle intangible, almost familiar, with a touch of cuorisity. Chiara Oggioni Tiepolo