And yet, with a portfolio as masterful as his, ‘artist’ is the only title that seems fit for Italian native Alberto Cantu. At only 21 years old, his greenness in the scene belies what is reality the work of a gifted photographer, with shots so painterly they could just as easily appear in a gallery as they could within the pages of a magazine.
Like any artist, Alberto (who goes by Alby) has his muses. Portraiture appears sporadically in his work, made stunning by its mere simplicity. But, in between shots of his brother or a stranger lies what is Alby’s true inspiration; water. So forceful is the pull of the tides that Alby recalls hatching a plan to ditch his hometown of Biassono with only his first borrowed camera as luggage.
“I always tried to escape from the city as fast as I could in order to get to the sea, or the lake or; to escape into nature in general. At the beginning, photography for me was just a way of documenting the sports I was doing in nature, so I started with a lot of skate, surf and climbing shots,” Alby says.
Sportsmen sometimes pull focus in Alby’s work, from a halfpipe-bound skater to a snowboarder in mid-flight, but he’s much more concerned with the natural arenas they occupy. Composed with the precision of an architect, Alby’s portfolio almost seems staged, with some requiring a double-take to inspect for brushstrokes. While this artistic style is his signature, Alby concedes that the beauty of his work comes in equal parts from nature.
“Lakes and beaches are the places where I shoot my best images, and it’s a perfect combination where light, water and mountains are in harmony. It always gives me a lot of inspiration, he says. It’s the same sort of inspiration that Monet might’ve drawn from his famed water lily lakes and starry nights. It’s why the term ‘artist’ is so apt for a photographer like Alby, and informs somewhat of an artist’s statement about his craft.
“Photography helps me, it gives me the possibility to express myself, to say things that otherwise I couldn’t. As I said, when I started my style was focused on sports, but little by little as I grew up, I started giving more and more space to my emotions, creating a more artistic style.”
Catch all of Alby’s Frames below, and head here to follow him on Instagram.