Raffaela Mariniello currently lives and works between Naples and Milan. Her artistic research centres around social and cultural themes, in particular, the transformation of the urban landscape and the relationship between man, the everyday objects of his life and the places he lives in.
In 1991, when the crisis of the iron and steel industry caused Italsider in Bagnoli to shut its doors, Raffaela Mariniello began a photographic campaign about the factory, which continues to be the only historical testimony to the steel mill’s activity: Bagnoli, una fabbrica (catalogue published by Electa, Naples, 1991) was exhibited in Naples, Nantes, Calais, Paris and Milan between 1992 and 1995.
Moltitudini (1995) and Natura morta (1998), installations in which the artist’s distance from more traditional photography is evident, were shown at Studio Trisorio in Naples, as well as in Verona, Marseilles, Rome and Turin. These are one-off pieces that associate the expressive means of photography with the depth and materiality of sculpture. Napoli veduta immaginaria (catalogue published by Motta, Milan, 2001), consists of a series of images dedicated to the city of Naples, where what emerges is the novelty of an unusual industrial and post- industrial urban scenario for that city (the photographs were shown at the Museo del Maschio Angioino in Naples—curated by Studio Trisorio—the Lawrence Rubin gallery in Milan, the Castello Aragonese in Lecce and at the Ronchini gallery in Terni).
The artist participated together with Daniel Buren in the art project ARIN promoted by Incontri Internazionali d’Arte (catalogue published by Arin-Buren, Naples, 2004). The volume Raffaela Mariniello (catalogue published by Ffotogallery editions, Cardiff, Wales, 2006) is a collection of photographs taken of the city of Cardiff, Wales, commissioned by the local administration with the collaboration of the Ffotogallery. The work was showcased at the Turner House Gallery in Cardiff in October 2005.
The video installation Over and over, realized during 2005, and shown at Studio Trisorio in Rome, the Pan in Naples and the Man in Nuoro, opened up the artist’s research to new expressive modes. In 2006 the artist began a project on the historical neighbourhoods of Italian cities where she reveals the transformation of locations that are subject to mass tourism. The colour, large-format images seek to show the changes in the essence of a site, its transfiguration to the point that it becomes like a theme park deprived of historical and cultural identity. The title of this series of images is Souvenirs d’Italie, for which a video was produced as well. Raffaela Mariniello has taken part in numerous group exhibitions both in Italy and abroad, including the 12th Quadrennial in Rome (1996), 8th Photography Biennial in Turin (1999), 9th Architecture Biennale in Venice (2006), Rome Photography Festival (2002, 2005, 2008), MOCA Shanghai, The Museum of Contemporary Art (2006, 2010), Paris Photo (2007), Contact Toronto Photography Festival (2008), Museo MAXXI in Rome (2010), Museo MADRE, Naples (2011), Museo di Palazzo Fortuny, Venice (2011).
Her works are featured in numerous private and public collections, including: the Bibliothèque National de Paris; Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris; Centre Régional de la photographie Nord Pas-de-Calais, France; Banca Commerciale di Milano; Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin; Fond National D’Art Contemporain, Paris; Metropolitana (Underground) in Naples; Museo della Certosa di San Lorenzo, Padula.