From 20 September 2023 to 21 January 2024, Palazzo Reale in Milan hosts JIMMY NELSON. Humanity, a photographic exhibition, promoted by Comune Milano – Cultura, produced by Palazzo Reale and Skira Editore, in collaboration with the Jimmy Nelson Foundation, curated by Nicolas Ballario and Federica Crivellaro.
Through 65 large photographs (some 2x3 metres), belonging to the most famous cycles of Nelson's production, the exhibition documents the creative evolution of the author, who spent his life traveling around the world and photographing some of the cultures indigenous people most at risk of disappearing, describing the traditional habits and customs that have been preserved in an increasingly globalized planet and also bringing out their emotions.
Initially attracted by indigenous cultures as custodians of ancient wisdom, examples of resilience and rootedness, over the years, the photographer understood how his work could question and dispel the preconceptions that classified these ethnic groups. With his photographs, Jimmy Nelson celebrates the cultural diversity encountered in his travels in contact with the myriad communities of West Papua, Tibet, Africa, Siberia, Bhutan or other areas of the planet, and invites the viewer to seeing the world through a different perspective, encouraging him to welcome and appreciate the intrinsic beauty of everyone as an integral part of the great human family.
One of the typical expressive features of his work is represented by portraits. During long stays in the most remote areas of the earth, Jimmy Nelson establishes a deep bond with the people who live there, paying meticulous attention to the cultural characteristics of the communities he portrays, emphasizing the uniqueness and beauty of each. His compositions are visual symphonies, where the human element is harmonized with the natural environment.
His images frequently portray elderly members of communities, whose faces bear the marks of time and a lifetime of experiences, as in the photograph of the elderly Inuit lady.
Numerous portraits by Jimmy Nelson highlight the strength and beauty of women such as that of the Kazakh girl, a powerful symbol of female emancipation. Her shots demonstrate how even in traditionally male rites, such as eagle hunting, women are breaking gender barriers.