Oliviero Toscani


Date and place of birth: 1942, Milan, Italy

Living place: Italy

Theme: photography, advertising

ECC Participation: panel member

photo: Orazio Truglio

A world-renowned Italian advertising photographer and art director, studied photography and printmaking at the Zurich University of the Arts.

”Globalism is a blessing. Proclaiming that McDonalds is bad and should be banned is like saying you're against photography because you've seen an ugly picture somewhere.”

Toscani made his name with scandalizing advertisements designed for the Benetton company in the years 1982-2000. They included i.a. posters featuring priest and nun kissing as well as three human hearts captioned “Black”, “White” and “Yellow”. One of his most famous campaigns presented the photograph by Therese Frare, showing a drug-addict dying of AIDS, surrounded by his family in a pietà-like pose.

Though Toscani is often referred to as a representative of the shock advertising, his ambitions go further. The photographer ruthlessly attacks artificiality, dishonesty, exaggeration and kitschiness typical for the contemporary advertising. He used his ability to attract attention

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