Born and raised in Rome, Italy, Gaia received a Law degree from La Sapienza University, Rome, and subsequently chose to pursue an artistic career devoting her professional efforts to the visual arts and documentary photography, depicting and researching the interactions between the singular human psyche and the world-at-large, with socially driven photo-reportages and personal researches and investigations.
She works primarily as a visual artist and, since 2010, with the birth of the Light TV project, as a filmmaker.
Gaia Light’s photographs and artworks have been extensively published and exhibited internationally. She lives and works between New York, Miami and Santa Luce (Tuscany).
SELECTED LONG-TERM PROJECTS
The Buzz Project (2010-2021) a multi-city photo-reconnaissance endeavor inaugurated in 2010 with co-author and photojournalist Alessandro Cosmelli – is centered on the contemporary metropolis: the urban environment and its infinite layers of reality and humanity. It has been entirely shot from the windows of public buses in ten iconic cities around the world (Brooklyn, New York; São Paulo, Brazil; Milan, Italy; Havana, Cuba; Istanbul, Turkey; Mumbai, India; Mexico City, Mexico; Paris, France; Tokyo, Japan, and Miami, Florida) to document the complexity of contemporary urban life from the perspective of the regular citizen.
This powerful social documentary tool is devoted to higher causes while promoting and celebrating democratic values. It is moved by a robust humanitarian drive that aims to highlight aspects of the contemporary global society – a society which we believe is increasingly in deep need of being addressed, if not acknowledged, and, most importantly, improved.
As part of this project, she has published three photographic books with Damiani:
Brooklyn Buzz (2012) was reviewed in Newsweek and Newsweek Japan and was selected among the ten best photography books of 2012 by the Pictures of the Year International (POYi). Additionally, the series of images set in the book has been the object of several exhibitions, the most relevant of which have been in New York City, at the New York Photo Festival in 2011, and the Half King Gallery as part of the Half King Photography Series, in 2013 (this show was featured in a selection of “must-see” exhibitions in TIME LightBox) and in Rome at the Ilex Gallery and the Fotoleggendo International Festival, in 2012.
Milano Buzz (2014), shot in Milan, Italy, and favorably reviewed in The New York Times International in 2015.
Havana Buzz (2017), shot in Havana, Cuba, was awarded an Honorable Mention in the documentary book category at the Tokyo International Photo Awards 2018 and an Honorable Mention at the Rendez-Vous Image Photo Book Award 2018. Furthermore, The Martha Cooper Library has acquired the book Havana Buzz at Urban Nation Museum in Berlin.
The Buzz Collection (2021), Buzz (The Buzz Collection) is the most recent stage of the project: The Buzz Project’s latest stop, in which every image of the cities we explored for a decade comes together to build a larger and universal picture of the contemporary metropolis as we know it – or thought we knew.
The work is structured as a collection of ten thematic dossiers – to be drawn upon and re-mixed. Each one is dedicated to a specific issue regarding the contemporary urban ecosystem and its human dwellers: the urbanites and the urbanized, as they live, prosper or simply survive in a globalized urban habitat across the world, at a time of an unprecedented and ever-expanding planetary-scale urbanization.
“Buzz-Art” shows us that art, in its infinite forms and meanings, is always available to everyone; “Buzz-Dreamers” is a statement against inequality, hidden in plain sight in every corner of our cities, of our neighborhoods, our blocks; “Buzz-Green” reminds us how nature is part of our living and how modern society has become a burden to our planet; “Buzz-People” is about us, the human contingent, with our differences and similarities defining one global people.
And so on: “Buzz-Home,” “Buzz-Love,” “Buzz-Cityscapes,” “Buzz-Inside Out,” “Buzz-Youth,” “Buzz-Wonders.” Every dossier is ultimately an invitation to activate an otherwise dormant inner vision and open the eyes of consciousness on the powerful energy – if not the beauty – of everyday life, which can be pervasive even along the sidewalks of a metropolis’ concrete expanse.
Mass Surveillance (2011- 2021), a perpetually curated series of photos and videos created from thousands of security cameras and webcams accessible via the Internet. It questions the intricate connections between privacy rights and surveillance needs in the post-9/11 world. This investigative documentary series is composed of footage from over 50 different countries and is dedicated to all the unaware victims of abusive surveillance. In 2016, two images from the series illustrated the covers of the Italian editions of Liquid Surveillance: A Conversation, by Zygmunt Bauman, published by Laterza as Sesto Potere: La sorveglianza nella modernità liquida.
Mass Surveillance: A Streaming Odyssey (2018), a non-narrative, experimental documentary film realized entirely with surveillance footage. Composed of still photos and videos reproduced from accessible webcams, it questions the increasingly disturbing presence on the Internet of surveillance security feeds, both public and private, from all corners of the digitalized world.
Light TV (2010-2021), Gaia Light’s Independent Reality TV Channel on Youtube, started as a video experiment provocatively based on the idea of focusing on the “real” of everyday life in the contemporary city versus the hyperactivity of so-called reality television.
Light TV casually documents instances of urban serendipity that we all encounter in going about our daily routines, while also presenting equally absurd scenarios that are staged only insofar as human beings are incessantly performative creatures at heart. Part spectacle, part cinéma vérité, these very short documentary videos are also charismatic studies of human nature, or exemplary moments – some banal and some over the top – that are, in fact, the very basis for reality television. Since Calderon and Shakespeare, we know that life is often a dream and the world often a stage. What Light TV tells us is that the inherent theatricality of the world is also intensely lyrical and intricately baroque, by degrees, and that the “real” of the real world is so much more rewarding and interesting than the “real” of reality television.
2020 . Mass Surveillance. Jeune Création, Exposition d’Art Contemporain, 70th Edition, Le Pouvoir se Charge de Vous #3, Collective Exhibition. Galerie Jeune Création, Paris, France. September – December, 2020.
2020 . Mass Surveillance. Jeune Création, Exposition d’Art Contemporain, 70th Edition, Le Pouvoir se Charge de Vous #2, Collective Exhibition. Galerie Jeune Création, Paris, France. June – July, 2020.
2020 . Mass Surveillance. Jeune Création, Exposition d’Art Contemporain, 70th Edition, Le Pouvoir se Charge de Vous #1, Collective Exhibition. Galerie Jeune Création, Paris, France. January – May, 2020.
2020 . Mass Surveillance: A Streaming Odyssey – A Film by Gaia Light with Music by Roberto Sbolci. Preview and Live Stream Event, May 2020. Centro di Fotografia Indipendente, Naples, Italy. Series “Proiezioni da Casa Spada”, Curated by Mario Spada.
2018 . Havana Buzz, Book Exhibition. Rendez-Vous Photo Book Awards, Palais des Congrès, Strasbourg, France.
2018 . Havana Buzz, Finalists Exhibition. Tokyo International Photo Awards, Tokyo, Japan.
2018 . Milano Buzz, Exhibition. Milano Photo Week, Hosted by Officine Fotografiche Milano, Milan, Italy. June – July 2018.
2017 . Havana Buzz, Damiani Booth, Paris Photo, Grand Palais, Paris, France.
2017 . Havana Buzz, Spazio Damiani Gallery, Bologna, Italy.
2015 . Milano Buzz, Leica Galerie Milano, Milan, Italy.
2015 . Milano Buzz, Corriere Della Sera Foundation, Milan, Italy.
2014 . Brooklyn Buzz, Istanbul Photo Festival.
2014 . Mass Surveillance, Collective Exhibition, Galleria Edieuropa, Rome, Italy.
2014 . The Mila Project, “Shadow-Lands” II: NOT-I/THOU, Curated by Gavin Keeney. Alfred Deakin Prime Ministerial Library (ADPML), Deakin University, School of Architecture and Built Environment, Geelong, Victoria, Australia.
2013 . Mass Surveillance, Museum Exhibition: “Senza Pericolo: Costruzioni e Sicurezza”, Curated by Federico Bucci, Triennale Design Museum, Milan, Italy. May – September 2013.
2013 . Brooklyn Buzz, The Half King Photography Series, Curated by Anna Van Lenten & James Price, The Half King, New York, NY. June – July 2013.
2012 . Brooklyn Buzz, MACRO Museo Arte Contemporanea Roma, Rome, Italy.
2012 . Brooklyn Buzz, The Ilex Collection Exhibition, Curated by Deanna Richardson, Ilex Photo Art Editions, Ilex Gallery, Rome, Italy.
2012 . Mass Surveillance, Jeune Création 2012, International Exhibition of Contemporary Art, Centquatre, Paris, France.
2012 . Mass Surveillance, Fotografia Festival Internazionale di Roma, Galleria Edieuropa, Italy.
2012 . Brooklyn Buzz, Foiano Fotografia Festival, Galleria Furio del Furia, Foiano della Chiana, Arezzo, Italy.
2012 . Brooklyn Buzz, FotoLeggendo Festival, Galleria Officine Fotografiche, Rome, Italy.
2012 . Brooklyn Buzz, Fotografia Festival Internazionale di Roma, Rome, Italy.
2012 . The Mila Project, “Shadow-lands” Curated by Gavin Keeney, Lascelles Gallery, Alfred Deakin Prime Ministerial Library, Deakin University, Waterfront Campus, Geelong, Australia.
2011 . Mass Surveillance, Collective Exhibition, Los Angeles Center for Digital Art (LACDA), USA.
2011 . Cam Girls Met Ladies, The Others Art Show, Site Specific Installation in a Prison Cell, Ex Carcere Le Nuove, Turin, Italy.
2011 . Cam Girls Met Ladies, Fotoleggendo Festival, Site Specific Installation, Curated by Tiziana Faraoni, ISA, Rome, Italy.
2011 . Brooklyn Buzz, New York Photo Festival, Multimedia Room Exhibition, Curated by Elisabeth Biondi and Enrico Bossan, Dumbo Arts Center, Brooklyn, New York.
2010 . Artist Residency, The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, Bethany, Connecticut, USA. February – March 2010.
2010 . Dark Light, Ilex Photo Collection Exhibition, Photographia Gallery, Milan, Italy.
2010 . Cruzamentos, Collective Exhibition, Curated by Deanna Richardson, Territòrio da Foto Gallery, Sao Paulo, Brazil.
2010 . Cruzamentos, Collective Exhibition, Curated by Deanna Richardson, Galeria de Gavea, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
2010 . Cruzamentos, Collective Exhibition, Curated by Deanna Richardson, Arte Plural Galeria, Recife, PE, Brazil.
2009 . Light America, Gallery Artists Show, Galleria Fontanella Borghese, Rome, Italy.
2009 . Light America, Solo Show, Galleria Fontanella Borghese, Rome, Italy.
2009 . Bare Smile 2/13, Performance with Lidia Ravera, in collaboration with Teatro Valle, ETI, La Coda dell’ Occhio. Villa Torlonia, Rome, Italy.
2009 . Bare Smile 2/13, Site-Specific Installation, Teatro Valle, Rome, Italy.
2009 . Bare War 1/13, Site-Specific Installation and Performance, with Francesco Zizola, 10b Photography Gallery, Rome, Italy.
2008-2009 . Light America: American Wanderings of a Cardboard Stand-Up. Performative Series: California, July 2008; Arizona, Texas, Nevada, New Mexico, August-September 2008; Brooklyn, NY, October 2008; Detroit, November 2008; Miami, December 2008; Washington, D.C., January 20, 2009, Presidential Inaugural Ceremony, and New York, NY, February-March 2009.
2008 . Light Treatment /2, KunstArt International Art Fair, Bolzano, Italy.
2008 . Light Treatment /2, Solo Show, Drissien Galerie, Munich, Germany, Curated by Tiziana Gazzini.
2008 . Light Treatment /1, Solo Show, Kunst Praxis der Siemens AG, Munich, Germany, Curated by Tiziana Gazzini.
2008 . Starlight in New York: Homage to Tribeca Film Festival, Solo Show, Nancy Koltes Gallery, New York, New York, USA. Supported by the Italian Cultural Institute, New York, NY.
2007 . Starlight, Solo Show, Café Panique, Paris, France.
2007 . Starlight, Solo Show, Paris, France. “Homage to the Rome Film Festival” promoted by the Italian Institute of Culture, Paris, in collaboration with the cultural association La Coda dell’Occhio, Rome, and La Libreria, Paris, France.
2007 . Light Treatment. Solo Show, Roma Design+, International Exhibition of Industrial Design, in collaboration with the La Sapienza University of Rome: Art, Design and New Technologies Section, Spazio Etoile, Rome, Italy.
2007 . Underground 02: Examples of Urban Art, Homage to Master Mario Schifano, Collective Exhibition, Studio Giga, Rome, Italy.
2006 . 9×100 / Light TV, Collective Exhibition, Fotografia Festival Internazionale di Roma, Galleria Santa Cecilia, Curated by Maria Evangelisti.
2005 . Made in USA, AbitArt Hotel, Curated by Micol Di Veroli, Rome, Italy.
2005 . Can, Solo Show, Curated by Maria Evangelisti and Luciano Corvaglia. Galleria Santa Cecilia, Rome, Italy.
2004 . Light, Solo Show, Curated by Maria Evangelisti and Luciano Corvaglia. Galleria Santa Cecilia, Rome, Italy.
2017 . Havana Buzz, Book Award, Tokyo International Photo Awards. Tokyo, Japan.
2017 . Havana Buzz, Book Award, Honorable Mention, Rendez-Vous Image Photo Book Award, Palais des Congrès, Strasbourg, France.
2014 . Mass Surveillance 2014, “Osaka”, Premio Roberto Cavanna, Finalist. Rome, Italy.
2013 . Brooklyn Buzz, Book Award, Pictures of the Year International (POYi), Best Photography Book Award Finalist.
2010 . Artist Residency, The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, Bethany, Connecticut, USA. February – March 2010.
Gaia Light’s images have been featured in leading, international editorial publications such as TIME Light Box, L’Espresso, Corriere Della Sera, La Repubblica, Newsweek, New York Times International, Newsweek Japan, Vanity Fair, Journal de la Photographie, The Art of Leadership (The Series, Magazine), Robinson (La Repubblica), Sguardi (Nikon Magazine), Internazionale Magazine, Il Giornale dell’Arte, Vogue, Marie Claire, Glamour, D’Ars Magazine, National Geographic Italy, Mind (La Repubblica), Disegno Industriale, Global Entrepreneur (Bravo Edition, China), Io Donna among others, exhibited internationally (Italy, United States, France, Brazil, Germany, Japan, Australia), and broadcasted across major multimedia platforms – CNN, Yahoo News, RAI and Huffington Post.
2017 . Havana Buzz, Published by Damiani. Worldwide
2015 . Milano Buzz, Published by Damiani. Worldwide
2012 . Brooklyn Buzz, Published by Damiani. Worldwide
2018 . The Dress, Self-Published
2017 . The Venus Project, Self-Published
2014 . Mass Surveillance 2011-2014, Self-Published
2013 . The Mila Project, Self-Published
2010 . Light War, Self-Published
2011 . Dark Light, Self-Published
2011 . Mass Surveillance, Self-Published
2011 . Cam Girls Met Ladies, Self-Published
2009 . Light America – American Wanderings of a Cardboard Stand-up, Self-Published
SELECTED CURATORIAL PROJECTS
2016 . Editing for Book Publication: Enel People, by Alessandro Cosmelli, Texts by François Hèbel, Published by Damiani.
2016 . Editing for Book Publication: Enel World, by Alessandro Cosmelli, Texts by François Hèbel, Published by Damiani.
2018 . Jeune Création, Exposition d’Art Contemporain, 68th Edition, Beaux-Arts, Paris, France: Member of the International Selection Committee.
2018 . Curatorial Collaboration. Triennale Museum, Milan, Italy. In Transito: Un Porto a San Vittore, Photographic Exhibition by Nanni Fontana.
2019 . Curatorial Collaboration. Aethusa, Photographic Exhibition by Claudio Palmisano. Stadio di Domiziano, Rome, Italy.
2020 . Curatorial Collaboration. I Fiori di Monte Inferno, Photographic Book by Patrizia Santangeli.
2014 . The image Sea of Japan, from the “Mass Surveillance” series — was chosen to illustrate the cover of Sesto potere: La sorveglianza nella modernità liquida, the Laterza Editori edition of Zygmunt Bauman and David Lyon’s wonderful book, Liquid Surveillance: A Conversation, first published by Polity Press in 2000.
2013 . Mass Surveillance, Senza Pericolo. Building and Safety, Triennale Design Museum
2012 . Mass Surveillance, Jeune Creation, Paris, France
2012 . D’Ars Magazine, Milan, Italy
2012 . Mass Surveillance, Fotografia Festival Internazionale di Roma, Postcart Editions
2012 . Brooklyn Buzz, Fotoleggendo Festival, VIII edition, Rome, Italy
2012 . Brooklyn Buzz, Reloveution, Foiano fotografia Festival, Arezzo, Italy
2012 . Art of Leadership Series, The Magazine, New York, NY
2011 . Cam Girls Met Ladies, Fotoleggendo Festival, VII edition, Rome, Italy
2011 . Art of Leadership Series, The Magazine, New York, NY
2010 . Dark Light Christmas, Galleria Don Chishiotte, Rome, Italy
2009 . Light America, Galleria Borghese, Rome, Italy
2007 . Arte Contemporanea, Electa Mondadori, Volume 9, Contaminazioni
2007 . Disegno Industriale/ Industrial Design, Cover
2006 . Global Entrepreneur, BRAVO Edition, China