MVB began her career as a reporter, a profession considered to be the realm of men in those days. She documented many disparate environments varying from the socially and culturally evolved northern Italy, to the phenomena of mass culture of the time (picture-stories), and the backwardness of the third-world south as well as contemporary Sardinian crime.
At a time in which fashion photography presented an abstract female against a white background, making her the absolute protagonist of the picture, MVB preferred to draw, design and create great sets in her studio in which women appear as presences in ever-changing stories told by her for the most important fashion magazines.
During the seventies MVB met Walter Albini, the most brilliant and innovative fashion designer of his day, leading to instant friendship and collaboration. For him and with him she took her first fashion photographs and constructed the first of her great sets whilst shooting one of his advertising campaigns.
For roughly ten years, from the first half of the eighties, many of her photographs were in the form of large Polaroids (20 x 25) using a big wooden optic camera made in America by Deadorff. Her technique evolved: the field of vision narrowed, even the clothes were taken close-up, with a predilection for the portrait, still-life and close-up. Her experiments with collage began with the polaroid, cutting and reassembling the large prints.
Mythical film, instantly developed (SX 70), launched in the seventies. Intrigued by the particularity of its colours, MVB used it frequently, even for her commercial work. She created and displayed several series of four pieces, printed on a 30 x 30 format, which tell short stories.
The Filicudi Biennial was born in 1998, on the initiative of several artists, with the aim of showing works created on the island or inspired by it. MVB has taken part in every edition. In 2008 she successfully displayed a series of icons portraying saints from Filicudi churches, reinterpreted in collages using flowers from her garden as backdrop. This is a tribute to Ettore Sottsass who always participated in the event during his life.
MVB resumed her photographic research into nature, already started in the past: firstly (from 2000) with work on sods inspired by Dürer, then with the series of insects where the photographer assumes the viewpoint of the insect itself, moving in what appears to be a sort of jungle. She also made her first experiments in breaking down images, in black and white.
During the ‘Salone del mobile’ (the renowned Milan furniture fair) in 2004, she developed the idea of ‘photographic furnishings’ in collaboration with a shop dealing in twentieth century artefacts. The original photographs, unique copies, merge into the vintage pieces: two tables, a sideboard, a small armchair and drapery.
Images of the paintings, the fifteenth century villa and garden of a Brescian artist from the early twentieth century: Virgilio Vecchia. The client asked for a reinterpretation of the works and the site to render them with “a topicality which would bring them back to life”. These huge prints made up the exhibition for the inauguration of what is intended to be a new cultural centre.
In 1927 more than five hundred anti-fascists were interned on Lipari, a beautiful mediterranean island, condemned to years of forced residence. Surveillance, from the top of the fortified acropolis and the numerous sentry-boxes guarding the boundaries, was rigid. In the summer of 2012 MVB documented the state of these sites committed to memory.
A new quest was initiated and developed in subsequent years from these little icons of Filicudi saints, in many ways still traditional and relatively simple, leading to much more complex, problematic works: the current secular ICONS, dedicated to figures in some way symbolic at present, on show until July 28th in the Galleria La Fenice, in Venice.