Yesterday and Today Meet with the Italians of New York
When looking at Michele Petruzziello’s photos questions suddenly pop into your mind: Where we are? Is this a journey into the future or a jump into the past? In the background is a modern and hectic New York City with its skyscrapers, lights, streets, bridges and traffic; in the foreground are characters that seem to come from another era. The contrast between old and new is what characterizes these photos dedicated to the new Italian immigration and renders them so intriguing.
The subjects of the series are real-life young Italians who live in New York. Dressed in the kind of clothing their great-grandparents probably would have worn, they carry the iconic cardboard suitcase of yesterday’s Italian immigrant and display the vintage versions of the tools of their trade – an architect’s ruler, a photographer’s camera, a musician’s gramophone.
Petruzziello’s collection is appropriately titled Good Bye My Love. Who knows how many times these words have been spoken by millions of Italian immigrants who continue today, just as a century ago, to search for new places where they may realize their dreams.