From March 15 to April 19, the Art Academy of Latvia will host an exhibition "Italy, 40 Years: 1970-2010" by Italian photographer John Randolph Pepper (1958). The exhibition invites visitors on a journey through Italy covering the post-World War II period to the most recent past, from 1970 to 2010. The project is an initiative of the Embassy of Italy in Riga.

The story of the photographs in the exhibition begins in 1970, when John's father gives him his first camera Pentax, and after two years of training with the famous Italian photographer Ugo Mulas (1928-1973), the boy begins his journey in photography. The young photographer takes to the streets and captures everyday Italian life, architecture and landscapes.

John R. Pepper's photographs are a testament to his deep respect for Italian culture and its values, highlighting human relationships – family, friendship and the joy of living.

"Each one of us is the main actor in our own lives. We are all vulnerable. We are all heroic. We are human beings. That is where the miracle lies. Passion, strengths and weaknesses, joy, innocence, sadness, violence, tragedy and the many contradictions that make up a human being are what I think make men and women beautiful. So I try to get close and photograph their eyes – their eyes watching me watching them. It's as if they reveal their soul to me for a brief moment and I am allowed to capture a small part of it. By capturing that moment, I briefly get closer and understand more of their personality – and mine", comments John R. Pepper.

“Contemporary photography serves as both a document and narration of modern Italy, capturing its essence. Through the lens of talented photographers such as Pepper, Italy's rich mosaic of culture, society, and daily life comes to life, offering a window into its ever-evolving narrative. That is why we wanted to bring Pepper’s exhibition to Riga: it is an invitation for Latvians to immerse in Italy and its culture” adds Alessandro Monti, Ambassador of Italy to Latvia.

John R. Pepper, born in 1958 in Rome; educated in Art History, Princeton University, USA (1976); works professionally in the fields of photography, theatre and film directing; has organized solo exhibitions in Europe, America, United Arab Emirates, Russia, etc.

Opening of the exhibition on 14 March at 17.00, Aula of the Art Academy of Latvia.

The exhibition will be on view from  March 15 to  April 19, 2024 at the Aula of the Art Academy of Latvia, 13 Kalpaka Boulevard.

Opening hours: from Monday to Friday from 10.00-18.00; break: from 14.30-15.00. Free admission.

Curators of the exhibition: Tatiana Fokina and Inese Rozentāla.

The exhibition is a project of the Embassy of Italy in Riga and the Art Academy of Latvia.