Making photographs as a way of “feeling at home without being at home.” That’s how Gabriele Rossi describes the process that led to The Lizard, his new monograph with Deadbeat Club. Rossi first visited the United States in 2016 to prepare for a six-month residency that was based in New York City. He initially felt overwhelmed by the metropolis and its rhythm, which was completely unlike that of his home village on the coast of Italy.
“I looked for the edge of the city, went to the shore at Rockaway, the houses, anything that could remind me of where I’m from,” Rossi says. This approach drove him to consider his definition of “home” – the place where he could ultimately feel comfortable – and to return to the U.S. twice more to explore this compulsion across more than ten states in the Midwest and West. At the same time, he was interested in responding as an outsider to the structures of classic American photography, like that of Robert Adams.
When the pandemic interrupted further travel, Rossi set about thinking through the pictures that he had amassed, trying to find common forms and themes – the connections that built the story about his being away from home. His effort was to understand why he was making the pictures, and not just to present a lot of pictures "about" America. As a result, The Lizard is a strange and uncanny atlas of the familiar transformed into the unfamiliar through the vision of a stranger who's only looking for some sort of home.
11.6” x 16.35”