Ignazio Lai, ten years of passion

By Stefano Grassi


Photo exhibition in memory of photographer and partner of Cultural Centre Man Ray Ignazio Lai, recently gone.

Geographic reportage, portrait, popular traditions.

From 15th until 31st July 2006


28th September 1995, Cagliari, quarter of Castello, via Lamarmora 140: inauguration of Cultural Centre Man Ray, Multipurpose Space dedicated to contemporary artistic experimentations, that foresees didactic activities in the field of photography, video and history of art. Salvatore Naitza, historian of contemporary art in the University of Cagliari, has a task to inaugurate. It is 19.00, the main room is full of people who are waiting for inaugurating speech of professor and for presentation of plans of Association. Space is inaugurated by the exhibition of Bosnian photographer Vladimir Kolopic who presents a work on the conflict in Balcans. In the first room is exposed big cloth with a transcription of one moving letter of the Author, unable to be present, where he express all his unease to live. In one corner there is a table for registration in the school of photography. One guy with a nice smile asks for me: it is Ignazio Lai from Tortolì, eighteen years, first student of the School of Man Ray! From this year I had this pleasure to be his teacher, but mainly, his fraternal friend, because Ignazio was a special person. Extremely altruistic, he was always helpful with more weaks, he whose life was binded to that fine thread always tight by more lucky ones. First of all he was generous person, also if, as an attitude, seemed easy-going and joyful guy. Impossible not to love him! I remember that advertising photographer Joe Oppedisano, with whom we worked for one national advertising campaign of Philip Morris, was enthusiastic about his professional skills and his liking.
Will to live, bright intelligence, intuition, ability to risolve technical problems and passion for the work he chose were qualities that connoted Ignazio Lai. For ten years he was generous friend, tireless and creative worker, able to give a lift also in difficult moments. In short time Ignazio from a student  became an assistant of photography in my studio and in projects of Man Ray until 2000.
There are various publications edited by Man Ray Centre where we can see photos of Ignazio Lai, realized during different events like : Rooms 1999 and 2000, Walks of the Spirit 1998 and 2000, Crosswalks 1999 and 2000, Imperfect Future etc.
From his work in the field of the advertising shooting we remember his participation in 1998 as an assistent of photography for realization of short film “Hotel Stella Maris, a holiday of dream” presented in Bit of Milan; in 1999 realization of television spot “Hotel Stella Maris”, always in 1999 national campaign for Philip Morris with a photographer Joe Oppedisano.

Stefano Grassi