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  • Jacopo Rufo

Happy birthday to me!


Today's my birthday, so I decided to share with you something very important about my childhood.


I've never been to kindergarten. I've spent most of my childhood in the garden with my parents, my creepy sister, my grandfather, our dogs, cats, goats, ducks and some exotic animals taken from my creepy sister somewhere.

Actually the baby's not me, it's my sister, but this photo tells a lot about how hippie they were

My parents were kinda hippie. I've been lucky enough to grow up in a fairy tale house in the middle of the wood, but I've never been in close contacts with people till primary school. Of course, I had friends. family friends, playground friends. summer friends, but I've never been in a room full of kids for 8h a day until I turned 6yo. And also when I started primary school, I've always prefered my grandfather's toolshed.


My family was broke, make ends meet could be hard with just one salary and two kids. I was almost conscious of that. Sometimes I suffered, sometimes I just didn't give a fuck, sometimes it helped me to understand how life's supposed to be when you become an adult.

She was my personal goat, she was the best at fighting

My sister's ten years older than me, my father's a clerk and my mother, a very a resourceful person, was about to start a business as a furniture restorer in our garage. Since she hadn't enough clients we started selling the furniture she restored at Sunday markets in some small towns around my village.


I think this part of my life has strongly impacted me.


Early 90s, no internet, no videogames, no memes, no nothing. Just wood, dogs, dangerous games, bat hunting in abandoned houses over the wood with my sister. Then...BAAAAM. You're in the middle of a market, full of people, 1,20cm tall. And you're not just a kid. You're the market kid. You're actually working there, you're in a fast lane, everybody treats you in a different way. IT WAS FUN.


And it was interesting. Something different than the wood. Something that has generated in me a curiosity I still have. People, strangers and friends, gags, stories, food and weird stuff.


Markets in Italy are theatres. All the drama, the comedy and the tragedy of life are melted in the streets, the alleys, the bars. Even if you do it every Sunday for years, every day is different. And this lasted for years until my mother's business grew enough to open a proper boutique.


I don't remember the last market we went to, it doesn't matter. But every time I go to a market I remember that feeling, that curiosity, that astonishment.


And I'm quite sure most of my photographs are the consequence of those experiences.





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