The snow that has recently sprinkled itself across Berlin has been an exciting topic. Adults and children have pointed at windows in excitement or exasperation, duly noting the icy white flakes descending from the sky. When I noticed this weather change, however, my first thoughts were not of plans for snow men or tobogganing but of Italian photographer Johnny Abbate, who is fascinated with this condition. He tells me during our interview, “I have a big poster in my room in Italy of a movie from X-Files when Mulder and Scully walk in the snow, and that was sort of my dream. I think when I see the snow falling here I will go running crazily in Grunewald because for me aliens come from the snow and the woods, so for me snow in the woods is the perfect alien situation.” Welcome to the world of Mr. Abbate.
Perfect Mix of Science Fiction, Horror and Porn
Currently exhibiting in a solo show at bookshop eisenHerz entitled † in conjunction with the release of the book “Mein schwules Auge 9,” his work deals primarily with the disturbing and the erotic. This strange combination is the result of a six year obsession with the film genres of science fiction, horror and porn, during which he would watch on average six of these type of films a day.
He elaborates, “I was ten years old and I was so confused. I did it for years and years and had so many nightmares, but really didn’t realize it was because I was so over exposed to sci-fi, horror and porn. Separated they can be beautiful but together I assure you, you get really confused.” This is something I do not doubt, but I have to wonder what his parents made of this. He explains that his location didn’t help – “I was a very lonely boy, I was in my room all day alone. I had one very big brother 12 years older than me and we had a big house in the country, far away from everything. I didn’t have many friends and wasn’t social anyway, spending all day watching these movies.”
Photographer Johnny Abbate on the other side of the lens in Naples. Photo: Courtesy of the Artist
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