Finding Beauty in Isolation

Milan-based photographer Settimio Benedusi may be better known for his seductive shots of swimsuit models in Sports Illustrated, but his other editorial work is just as engaging. Each image reflects a different story through stunning art direction. The setting plays almost as big a role as the female subjects. In much of his photography, Benedusi focuses on capturing beauty and glamor in isolation.

Using a solo female subject in each of his images adds to the calming solitude that overlays most of his work. Even in his White series, where a beautiful woman in a lavish gown stands in a crowded subway car, there is an overwhelming feeling of seclusion. There is an invisible distance between her and the masses. It seems as though it is a running theme in Benedusi's portfolio for his subjects to emit a sense of loneliness, even amidst an abundance of wealth. Richly adorned walls and intricately crafted attire mean nothing to these solitary characters afflicted with a reclusive lifestyle.

In the Palagini Calendar for 2011, Benedusi presents women in lace and other ethereal garments looking on wistfully, setting a stirring scene. There's also something hauntingly beautiful about the photographer's editorial spread in Uovo magazine that depicts several women in varied luxurious settings whose bodies lay lifeless. The suicide series is romanticized, leaving spectators to wonder why these stunning women took their own lives. Rather than overwhelming its viewers with sadness, the series is a fashion-friendly peek into the lives of these intriguing women.

Settimio Benedusi website

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