Profile of Artist

Pierre Poretti, born in Lugano, Switzerland in 1950, has been practicing his distinctive style of photography in Bali since 1984. Using exacting hands on technique, Poretti prints his own black & white photographs, then tints them with watercolors to create images that are drenched in a strange and romantic atmosphere..

Poretti has taught photography at the Balinese Art Academy. In 1995, he had successful one-man shows at the Jane Stubbs Gallery in New York and Buta Fine Arts Foundation in Jakarta and has exhibited in many countries throughout the world.

He spent seventeen years in Bali capturing the beauty of the island via the lens of his camera. Poretti s photographs turn mundane, mass-produced images of the island Kuta Beach, Gunung Agung, ceremonial processions, dancers waiting in the wings for their turn to perform into works of art. "My images are not images of dead objects," he says of his photographs, before going on to qualify that passive or objectified beauty is of little interest to him.

"There is life in my images because, for me, the photographic process is a dialogical process. I am the kind of photographer whose works depict a dialogue with the subjects of the photograph."

In order to photograph a person, for example, this process would require Poretti to open a dialogue with that person, and if possible to begin a friendship with them. Or in order to photograph an aspect of daily life in a Balinese village community, he would need to become a part of that community in some small way. "This kind of participation is necessary for me to develop artistically," recounts Poretti.