Federico Protto

Federico Protto


Mamá ama realidad” is a fashion story, photographed in summer 2013 in our countryside home in Grafing, near Munich, Germany. The protagonist in these images is my mother, the face paint was made by my brother Mursel, 10 years old at the time. The garments worn are a combination of my mother’s own pieces and a few draped, pinned, and stitched textiles I made that summer.

First being skeptical about it, my mother soon visibly enjoyed being the model. Being put in unusual outfits, doing unusual poses in unusual surroundings and being photographed at once, gave her the impression of acting a fantasy. This scenario established a division from her everyday life, she slipped into an undefined role. Simultaneously she was nobody else than herself in an exceptional, new situation. Fashion created a space, a moment to live out a parallel reality – hence a possible unreality.


The outfits and positions I put my mother in – first instructions and after a while natural outputs – required her to be jumping, screaming, swirling and twisting frantically in the dark garden. This scene provoked the parallel reality where the acting person became someone unexpected, someone surprising! 

 She experienced that dressing up can be a playful way to live different roles, different personas. The change of wardrobe supports also the change of the signalized image. Already small shifts will, therefore, create indications for a receiver to interpret a differing image.


Since playing with this smaller or bigger indications to send a specific or unspecific message became one of my passions, I learned to value this power provided by fashion. Knowing that many people are unaware of this naturally owned power, I developed a way of shooting personalities, friends, and family, which evokes a very specific style of storytelling. The greatest part of it is to witness the moment the photographed ones start slowly fusing with this empowerment: the story detaches from the initial navigation and starts to dictate itself.


What actually happens is autonomous storytelling through the empowerment of fashion and the neutral space for various realities or unreality it provides.


(excerpt from ‘fashion & MASQUERADE’, February 2018)

model mamá
make-up mursel
fashion, photography federico protto
all shoes necklace underwear mamá’s own