© Oliviero Toscani 1989

Aldo Ballo e Marirosa Toscani Ballo gave life, from the early 50ies to today, to the Ballo photographic studio, a point of reference to the most important designers in the most fascinating and interesting period for design worldwide. Their work continues to prosper even after Aldo Ballo’s death, in 1994.

Aulenti, Boeri, Vigo, Sottsass, Castiglioni, Rossi, Bellini, Starck are some of the names that chose Studio Ballo for its professional, intelligent, ironic, elegant and creative approach. This way many of their photographs have entered the collective imagination and are still nowadays published as reference images.

ballo+ballo is not simply a photographic exhibition, but it is the tell tale of a body of work, of a group, of a laboratory of ideas, of a forge of images. The “reconstruction” of the studio, on one hand, also needed to reevocate the atmosphere of the work environment and of the exhibition itself, on the other, allow the public to follow the straordinary professional path, and allow it to understand the dynamics of a place, where photographies were made while ideas were created and images made unforgettable.

Aldo Ballo: “I dont take art pictures, hanging pictures, here we do industrial photography, we go inside the object: we interpret it, and give its soul back.”

Aside from the many photographic prints (from still life to portraits) there will be the the reconstruction of a part of the studio, traditional and modern at the same time. Moreover one will be able to find, work tools, a miniature of the studio, video records, the many projects made for magazines and newspapers, a selection of objects that are key players in the ballo+ballo exhibition, and many other aspects of such a rich and eventful carrer.

Thanks to a layout studied by Enrico Baleri and Luigi Baroli, at the entrance, a white StudioAzzurro “backstage” will welcome the public, which will be able, following the trail of the exhibition, to admire the many photographs, but also to watch video records, listen to the Aldo Ballo lesson he taught at the Politecnico di Milano in 1994. All this while having an almost “direct” contact with the main exponent of design. These maxi portraits on plexiglass will be the walkway through this great experience. A dialogue between the great designers (Aulenti, Munari, Castiglioni, etc.), the public and i Sette Savi di Fausto Melotti.

The 90+ video records (amongst others: Mario Bellini, Maddalena DePadova, Michele De Lucchi, Serge Libiscensky, Richard Sapper, Oliviero Toscani) projected in the agora space were produced by Kate Ballo and Sofia Sfriso, coordinated by Fabio Cirifino of Studio Azzurro.

On the second floor: a generous documentation of editorial and graphic projects as well as the publication of catalogues and trade papers. On top of “Casabella” and “Domus”, many collaborations were started by Studio Ballo, including the start of publications such as: “Ottagono”, “Casa Vogue”, “Abitare”, “Arianna”. Another sign that the studio was acive in many different ways.

On top of all the work from the past Studio Ballo, the latest creations by Marirosa Toscani Ballo will be exhibited. Fruit and vegetable portraits, still life and interior pictures.

This exhibition has been possible thanks to the collaboration with the many designers, archives, and brands, that, thwought the years, have produced the objects pictured.