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‘One of us’ is an exclamation. The same words the Freaks sang in the 1930s cult movie that challenged the concept of normality. In a scene of the film it’s the monsters who accept a “normal” person as one of theirs, in a world turned upside down – in which not only are the physical idiosyncrasies of the circus characters normal, but they hide a good nature that seems to contradict their monstrous aspect.

In this photographic project, Giacomo Favilla, a photographer and video maker who flits between art and fashion with order and energy, meets the artisan ambitions of designer Francesca Lombardi. Together they invite twelve mysterious figures to pose for them, seated solo on an antique chair.

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These individuals have human semblances, however, their features are hidden by an origami masks transforming their faces by replacing their features with the snouts of animal. Absorbed in the black and white atmosphere they appear to tell us that there’s no difference between man and animal, they are like us, in a mythology that blends our world with theirs and stimulates our thinking, by declaring that we’re on the same level.

The precise study of light defines the features of the masks created by Francesca, underlining the importance of shadows in a context of oriental sensitivity. Starting from the first snout of a puma (created according to the scheme of Roman Diaz, a veterinary who has dedicated several books to this Japanese art) other animal profiles are developed: a crocodile, a cat, an elk, a rabbit… they all live in the same ethereal space.

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Giacomo Favilla was born in Livorno, Italy, in 1984. He started his career producing photos for national magazines such as Digital Camera Magazine and Attico. He later moved to London, where he started a career in the fashion industry and video production. He has produced several music videos shown on international music channels such as Sky, Music Box and Rock TV and reached the final of the PIVI Videoclip Awards. In 2011 his short documentary Curator Aquarum won the ‘FAI- I luoghi del cuore’ award, and was shown during the ‘Milano Film Festival 2011’. He was also a part of the ‘Consumerism’ exhibition at The Photographer’s Gallery in London.