Gianni Giansanti was born in Rome in 1956.
He began his career as a freelance photographer in 1977; one year later, he photographed the body of Aldo Moro, just after his assassination:
an international scoop that won him a special commendation at the Amsterdam World Press awards.
"When Gianni Giansanti turned into via Michelangelo Caetani that day - 9 May 1978 - he had no idea what was in store. He was 22 years old, and full of the fire and enthu- siasm of a young man setting out on his professional path. (...) He climbed up to a balcony from which he had a bird's eye view of a red Renault 4 around which police officers were teeming; explosives experts were about to blow off the locks of the car door. Camera at the ready, when the boot flew open, Giansanti started shooting. "At a time like that you don't really feel anything, you just cope with the technical pro- blems.All I could think of was that I had to guard my photos with my life, and get them to the AP agency. I had an incre- dible scoop on my hands".
(Marie-Monique Robin , THE HUNDRED PHOTOS OF THE CENTURY)
In 1981 he began working with the Sygma Agency. He covered the coup d’état in Turkey as well as major events in El Salvador, Guatemala, Libya, Lebanon, Senegal, Poland, Greece and Yougoslavia. In 1988 he spent six months photographing the private life of Pope John Paul II in the Vatican, which won him the first prize at the World Press Awards.
In the following two years Giansanti covered stories on China, the Italian aristocracy, the men behind Perestroika, military academies in the U.R.S.S. and the jockeys of the Palio at Siena. In 1991 he was awarded first prize in the Art section at the Angers Festival and second prize in the Sport section of the World Press Awards for his work on the Palio.
That same year he published his book Cavalli in Palio (White Star Editions). After winning the University of Missouri 1992 Picture of the Year Award for his photographs of famine-stricken Somalia, he published a reportage on the complex phenomenon of miracles. In 1993 his work with Ayrton Senna brought him into contact with the turbulent world of Formula One racing, and the result was the book The Colours of Passion, produced with Renault Motorsport.
In 1995 the publication of his book John Paul II, Portrait of a Pontiff (White Star Editions) was followed by a prestigious exhibitions in the Salone Sistino at the Vatican, in the Carrousel du Louvre in Paris and in the Musée des Beaux Arts in Rio de Janeiro.
In 1997 Giansanti published the book Jacques Villeneuve, A Champion in Pictures (Goldstar Holdings Corporation), in which he covered Villeneuve on the track, behind the scenes and away from racing. In 1999 with his book Realisation of a Dream (Hazleton Publishing) Giansanti tells, through his photos, the story of the British American Racing team, started as a “vision” and how it was translated into reality. This book was followed the year after, by its sequel, From Dream To Reality (Hazleton Publishing). Giansanti is also very interested in art, and this is shown in his work Marc Aurel, realized with Allianz Insurance Company, a document of the entire restoration process of the famous emperor’s statue.
The 1999 is completely dedicated to politics: Giansanti realizes Discover the Chamber of Deputies, a reportage of everyday life in Montecitorio. He spends 2001 in following the life of football champion Alessandro Del Piero, producing with him the book Semplicemente Del Piero.
In 2002 he produces the book Mondiale in Giallo, photographic tour around Corea and Japan during Fifa World Cup. A long work in Africa, looking for the origin of the Man among the primitive tribes in the Omo Valley is the themo of the book Vanishing Africa, that will be a huge editorial success.
Following the death of Pope John Paul II, Giansanti continues to attend the Vatican events with close attention and the first year of Ratzinger’s Papacy becomes the photo-book Benedict XVI, the Dawn of a new Papacy.
Gianni died in Rome on March 18, 2009 at 52 years old.
For any further inquiry you can refer to the Contact section.