“Some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious ambiguity…” – Gilda Radner
Cleveland photographer, Elisa Vietri may be best known for her ability to surreptitiously document the nuances of her fair city, but that is far from her only talent. Her eye for beauty has captured portraits, events, and landscapes around the world with her distinctive style. From postindustrial landscapes, to the cliffs of Italy’s coast, to America’s Route 66, Elisa’s camera has found every type of neighborhood, architecture and expression, both human and inanimate. She brings the world around her to life with her lens.
As the premier photographer for the Cool Cleveland weekly newsletter, Elisa’s work has fascinated Cleveland aficionados for several years. Her 2011 one woman gallery show at Beck Café opened to local accolades. Elisa describes her work as “documenting my life and living a life I really want to remember”. She communicates that via her camera lens, in details that many never notice. Much like the slow food movement teaches us to eat mindfully, Elisa’s photography teaches us to observe with a mindful eye.
In addition to her show at the Beck Café, her photography has been featured at Beachwood Community Center’s “Art Effect” show, Doubting Thomas Gallery’s “Burning River City” show, Coffee Phix’s Storefront Art Initiative Project, and the 2012 Beachwood Library Fall Photography Show.
Her striking, off-beat nostalgia captures the great memories of Cleveland's past as well as the futuristic renditions of Cleveland's buildings, fashion, and people. She always has a camera in hand and she chronicles what she sees. Pay attention, she has documented something you missed. Her photography ranges from enchanting to hauntingly beautiful. Elisa deliberately slows down and catches all the exquisite idiosyncrasies of her life and extends a gracious invitation via her photography to see the world through her eyes. It’s a lovely view.
Artist’s statement: Welcome. I distinctly remember the moment years ago when I crossed the Hope Memorial Bridge heading into Cleveland at dusk and thinking, this is my town! It's the same feeling you get when you realize a friend has become the family you chose versus the family you were born into. I wanted to frame the gorgeous details of my adopted hometown. Everything, the good and the beautifully ugly. Most importantly, I wanted to share my unique perspective. Otherwise, I really wouldn't have anything special to offer. That is my journey, to hone my ability to zero in on the details as I see them and then share them with anyone that's interested. I affectionately refer to myself as a hack because despite the heartfelt attempts of wonderful teachers and the many books and blogs I've read, I struggle to teach myself and develop a unique voice. I often view my camera as my best friend and my arch nemesis simultaneously. We're locked in a constant battle of wills. I know it sounds ridiculous and overly dramatic but I continuously wrestle with the technology and what the "correct" methods are. But I am making peace with her. Now I just go and shoot and try things in hopes of getting it right. Right, that is, for me. I'm a hack and I don't mind. It actually suits me quite well. It's my own delicious ambiguity. My goal is simple, make nice pictures of the world buzzing around me and, hopefully, they'll evoke some sort of emotion in others. My camera and I will never disagree about that. And I'm grateful. Thank you for your visit. Please feel free to linger here. ~Elisa