Home Edizioneed. 9 The art of riding life

The art of riding life

Written by Monica Camozzi
Photos by Maurizio Montani

From the conservatory to the Liga and Vasco cover bands, from the Parma of horses to the nocturnal Milan that propelled him first into Publitalia and then into the world of fiction. With a parallel and unwavering passion for photography, which is his main job and which has led him to create a veritable factory in the Lombard capital. 

Belli -nomen atque omen- is chameleon-like, with an endemic resilience linked to a childhood lived in close contact with nature and the experience of military service which, as he says, ‘toughens you up. Even on the Isola dei Famosi, in conditions that take you to the emotional crash test, I had fun’.

I always find positive sides in the experiences I have.

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Cento Vetrine, Ballando con le Stelle, Isola dei Famosi, Grande Fratello…did you find yourself in this hyperbole?
Nothing was accidental, I wanted and pondered everything. From the years spent in San Giorgio Canavese, where Cento Vetrine was filmed (where he played the role of Jacopo Castelli, ed), to reality shows. I am a rather atypical candidate, because I am much more of an author and I come from a particular life path. My family raised horses, I spent my childhood and adolescence in the countryside, I am used to problem solving!

From the countryside to the Wild West of reality TV…
Sure, the reality TV format places a bunch of cameras in a heterogeneous group of individuals who have not chosen themselves and have to live together. And here the emotional crash test is inevitable, even the most stoic breaks down, people bring out their best and worst sides. But, precisely, by character and life training I am used to reacting.

alex belli (6)

Having lived among horses until I was 20 years old has left me with an unconditional love for animals, which I carry inside me like a great treasure.

How did you get on TV?
It was all a sequence of things, I actually arrived in Milan as a bass player in a cover band and here, the many acquaintances made in the world of nightlife catapulted me into the television environment, after having passed through the Base radio experience. The Milanese atmosphere fascinated me, everything led me on the path I took, which was quite multifaceted. I still remember the first tv promotions in 2003 with Publitalia, it seemed easy to read the cue cards under the camera with a natural air and make sense of the words, but it wasn’t at all!

Making entertainment means adapting to different languages. The GF VIP, for example, closed because the language used did not meet the needs of generalist TV.

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I still remember the anxiety that tightened in my chest when I went out on stage, in front of the audience, at the age of 22. At a certain point you see black! And you train this state of mind by treading the stages, I knew how to handle it after years of premieres.

But beneath the musician, the actor, the performer beats a photographer’s heart…
The production house I established in Via Mecenate in Milan, my Factory, has been my main job since 2012. The time I don’t spend doing TV appearances I spend doing photo productions, and over the years I have built up a wonderful staff.

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With whom did you start?
I started with people of the calibre of Giampaolo Barbieri, moving on to other photographers, also being an assistant, and slowly I took home the secrets of photography. Today, my collaborators include people like Flavia Cavalcanti, important make-up artists, stylists, the studio is huge and allows us to work both outdoors and indoors.

I have heard that you have used aluminium, copper and other materials to print images…
Digital brought me one or two tera hard drives and I wondered where I would put all these images. On social media we cut photos into four-thirds, we shoot video in 16/9 but we lose our visual art.

alex belli (2)

The decision to print images on different materials is linked to the desire to preserve photographic art, removing it from the volatility of digital.

I also did light painting, at the Officine del volo: people were immersed in fluorescent sounds and colours, I painted plates on photographs with fluorescent hues. They are immersive experiences, very different from phone scrolling where you are a passive user.

If you had the Genie of the Lamp, what wishes would you ask for
Actually, I have already realised them all!  Except one: after I have realised myself in the artistic field and created my factory, I would like to become  father.

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