Few words about Nik
by Anna Gullì
"I have been asked to highlight the main features of Nik Ferrando.
This is a very complex task and frankly I do not know from what begin, as Nik is so……polyhedric!
Many images pass across my mind thinking about him and the capability to elaborate mental contributions is faster than the hand. I do not know will I be able to catch all thoughts. It could be there will be only confused images. Let’s see.
The important is to begin.
I am one of the few people who are pleased to believe to really know him, nevertheless as the time goes on doubts arise and seize me.
I have been associated with him for about 30 years and I have always thought to know everything about him, to know what he wants, his goals, his taste, his desires…..instead it is not like this, he turns out to astonish me; with him you have always to start from the very beginning as his skill to re-create himself is faster than light and it is difficult to stand behind him.
His solemn gait is pressing. It requires a consistent attention and commitment to understand which is “his way”; all ways are “his way” and for this reason it is almost impossible to focus the character. He is “ everybody and nobody”.
His full colour photos would suggest to think about a solar person who moves and feeds with colour, with light, a person who is always in movement, optimistic, strong in will and positive; all this sometimes is true, but it happens to be also exactly the contrary.
Many people would swear he is a gloomy man, often sullen, loath and sometimes reluctant to new things and over all incomprehensive.
I personally believe this is integral part of his glamour.
His places are the port, the centre of the town: Genua, his town, his Genua. His natural environment is that particular nucleus named “carruggi” a pulsing and multi ethnical labyrinth of narrow streets which contour lines are ancient and very high palaces which, if observed from beneath, look as if they would close like a leave, as if they want to protect the same narrow road.
Nevertheless the light passes through from above, often shaded by hanging between palaces clothes, another peculiar feature of the “carruggio”, thus giving light to architecture pearls of a history that seeps from the chinks between stones and bricks.
His world is this, protected, maybe a bit closed, nevertheless bright and tempting, a world with which it is difficult to take contact.
During his working week, Nik lives in one of this renaissance high palaces, in a kind of hermitage, of course at the upper floor.
In 30 years I have been “admitted” inside the walls of his house only few times.
Nobody is allowed to enter the privacy of his life.
His apartment is big, typical of the style of Genua, with enormous double windows which frame invaluable views, an apartment with paintings in unbelievable places such as the bathroom, the storeroom, in one of the bedrooms, but all this is typical of the houses in the narrow streets of Genua.
No curtains on the windows, so the light enters directly; the view is marvellous: the port, one of his big loves!
I have been astonished by his furniture, as everything is in only two colours: yellow and beige.
He has leather sofas everywhere, all, of course, yellow, books and books, piles of books, photos, art, interior decoration photos, also yellow books (thanks to the colour?).
Adventure novels, manuals to built things, gardening books etc. I think that digging you could find everything!
There are also a lot of ancient tables full of colour tests, designs, photos, colour pencils and various things. At the entrance of one room there is a big statue, a Madonna, one of his creations.
On the whole a very pleasant home, very bright and live, where space and light are masters; both abstract, ethereal, but determined, almost definitive.
Nik is very different from how you could imagine looking at his exterior figure you perceive meeting him.
Think that it does not exist any photo of him, no interview, he very seldom speaks with his clients.
I believe his fortune is that his images speak for him and this is the contribution to external communication he desires. It is a pity, I believe.
He would have so much to communicate, also with words!
He has another country house where he lives in weekends. The peculiarity of this house, which, by the way, I never saw, but I know it form his stories, is that in furniture it is exactly the same as the house in Genua. Everything is double: same leather yellow sofas, same kitchen furniture, same working tools, even copies of his favourites books!
A mania, you would say – and I agree – but he has a very deep reason for this: his concept of “home” which he believes should belong to only one house.
A kind of space transposition, which accompanies him.
He says: “ I should always feel at home and for this reason I need my things, it does not matter if these are “other things”, as a matter of fact they are always the same things.
Nik is like this.
Recently he feels attraction to things destined to disappear, beginning from mortal things, as if bringing them to sight he could recognize what has been taken away from them, a kind of ultimate possibility, a kind of immortality.
For example his last photographic courses put their stem towards those areas of Genua port destined to be destroyed.
I do not know how he manages, but he always catches the instant before, the moment after which there is no return; he makes a photo and a moment after the whole district does not exist any longer.
Destroyed, dismantled, disappeared, lifeless.
He has photographed places, which remained within everybody’s reach for years, in which only he has managed to catch that tiny time before destruction, and I believe this can be seen from his photos. Some photos seem to breath, other to smell. It is as if he has a sixth sense, which orients him towards that precise place in that precise moment.
Sometimes I am scared, I must admit, when I discover such things……and upon my questions …..he almost excuses saying “no, this is a chance!”
And yet when we are speaking about him “the chance” is almost a rule!
Nik is like this.
Much more could be said, anecdotes could be told, maybe I will write them with time, I would like not to influence now my readers.
My wish is that everybody could figure out features and traits of this short portrait through his images."