Alessandro Sarno - Acrobatic Mornings.jpg

Alessandro Sarno "The Spirit of a People: Portraits and Slices of Life in The Islands of The Bahamas"

Alessandro Sarno is a Milan based artist who began his journey into photography in 2008 on the porch of The Betsy Hotel. Having left his job in London, Sarno stopped at The Betsy on his way to The Bahamas for the first time, seeking sunshine and a new life. Before departing he purchased a camera, and while there, captured images that documented a transformative personal experience as he was introduced to the deeply spiritual and colorful Bahamian cultural traditions. As this artist’s muse, it seems fitting that The Betsy would be the host of Alessandro’s first Miami Exhibit.

The Spirit of a People: Portraits and Slices of Life in The Islands of The Bahamas presents the uniquely warm and welcoming people and colors of the islands through photographs and an accompanying video. His portraits are tender and delicate. "Junkanoo," the Boxing Day parade famously featured in the James Bond "Thunderball" movie, is also highlighted in images from both the 2015 and 2016 parades in Nassau. Junkanoo gave Sarno the ability to understand the deeper spirit of the Bahamian people, connecting them with the air,  the ocean, and their African heritage. 

The Covid-19 pandemic dealt the Bahamas yet another blow, just as the islands were beginning to recover from hurricane Dorian’s aftermath in 2019. Unemployment has skyrocketed to 50%. With that in mind, and in partnership with the artist, a portion of the proceeds from this exhibit will be donated to Lend a Hand Bahamas. https://www.lendahandbahamas.org

If you’re interested in purchasing a piece please see the concierge, call 305-531-6100 or email [email protected] or [email protected] for more information.

Alessandro

Mr. Ward

Cat Island

Mr. Ward lives in a hilltop house in Cat Island. He loves to read and has great knowledge of bush medicine. I enjoyed many interesting conversation overlooking at the mesmerizing ocean down in the distance.

Unframed Size: 36"x24" - $1,200
Framed Size: 45.6"x33.85" - $1,600

Alessandro

Reading the Bible

Eleuthera

I was driving South in Eleuthera when I noticed this lady nicely dressed sitting on a rock with the bible in her hands. I stopped the car and started a little conversation. When I asked why she was sitting on that rock she answered that her husband was drunk inside the house and she didn't want to be with him.

Unframed Size: 36"x24" - $1,200
Framed Size: 45.6"x33.85" - $1,600

Alessandro

Going to Church

Eleuthera

It was early morning on a Sunday when I encountered this lady. She was walking outside the church. We had a little talk and she asked if I could take her to her church in Palmetto Point and so I did. That's why I titled the photo "Going to Church" even if it seems she is leaving church.

Unframed Size: 24"x16" - $700
Framed Size: 33.85"x26" - $950

Alessandro

Shirley

Eleuthera

Shirley is an interesting woman. She lives in an old house in North Eleuthera and was the first female police officer in The Bahamas decades ago. She is very photogenic and she has been a subject for the great American painter Steven Scott Young.

Unframed Size: 24"x16" - $700
Framed Size: 33.85"x26" - $950

Alessandro

Sunday Jumping

New Providence

I was at the beach with a friend when a group of kids started to jump and play in the water. I grabbed my camera and started to shoot trying to capture that moment of joy and carefreeness.

Unframed Size: 24"x16" - $700
Framed Size: 33.85"x26" - $900

Alessandro

Holy Blues

New Providence

In The Bahamas, followers of the Church of God traditionally hold a baptism ceremony in the ocean. It's no doubt a very interesting experience to witness.

Unframed Size: 18"x12" - $550
Framed Size: 26.77"x20.86" - $750

Alessandro

Acrobatic Mornings

New Providence

I remember the moment I took this photograph very well. I was just back in Nassau and I was having lunch with a dear friend when we noticed a bunch of kids jumping off the jetty. I excused myself and went to photograph them and returned to the table to continue lunch.

Unframed Size: 18"x12" - $550
Framed Size: 26.77"x20.86" - $750

Alessandro

Early Morning Dip

Cat Island

It was Christmas Season of 2016 and I was spending a few days in Cat Island. One early morning, before dawn, I walked down the beach. The sea was flat calm, the only ripples were the ones provoked by the gentle movement of the lady captured in the photograph.

Unframed Size: 24"x16" - $700
Framed Size: 33.85"x26" - $950

Alessandro

Still Life

Cat Island

Some sour oranges resting on the porch of an old house in Cat Island. I just loved the scene and the colors.

Unframed Size: 24"x16" - $600
Framed Size: 33.85"x26" - $900

Alessandro

Busy Days

New Providence

In Nassau there is an area called Over The Hill, it includes Grant and Bain Town. It's an area where it's not recommended to walk alone but I did and I was happy to. I met some wonderful people and saw some charming corners. This scene of life struck me for its simplicity and chillness. One man eating some sugar cane, a dog sitting and looking at his owner and another man taking a nap on the floor...

Unframed Size: 36"x24" - $1,200
Framed Size: 45.6"x33.85" - $1,600

Alessandro

Porch Tales

Cat Island

This photo is funny because the lady is actually looking at a soft cover version of my Cat Island book. She sat down and took her time to flip through the pages.

Unframed Size: 18"x12" - $550
Framed Size: 26.77"x20.86" - $750

Alessandro

Girl in Her Sunday Dress

Cat Island

My friend Andrew and I were driving home to Spirit House Cat Island when we passed the last house before the dirt road. This girl just walked out of the door dressed for the Sunday Mass at the church around the corner.

Unframed Size: 18"x12" - $550
Framed Size: 26.77"x20.86" - $750

Alessandro

Junkanoo Parade I

New Providence

Photographing a Junkanoo Parade is the most difficult thing to do after participating to the parade itself. Light is very low but close to the street lights it gets super bright. People constantly move and trying to get a good photo is really exhausting. The parade begins at midnight on Boxing Day and goes on all night till 8 or 9 in the morning. The colors, the rhythms and the costumes are just an amazing experience.

Unframed Size: 36"x24" - $1,200
Framed Size: 45.6"x33.85" - $1,600

Alessandro

Junkanoo Parade II

New Providence

Photographing a Junkanoo Parade is the most difficult thing to do after participating to the parade itself. Light is very low but close to the street lights it gets super bright. People constantly move and trying to get a good photo is really exhausting. The parade begins at midnight on Boxing Day and goes on all night till 8 or 9 in the morning. The colors, the rhythms and the costumes are just an amazing experience.

Unframed Size: 16"x12" - $350
Framed Size: 23.62"x19.68" - $550

Alessandro

Junkanoo Parade III

New Providence

Photographing a Junkanoo Parade is the most difficult thing to do after participating to the parade itself. Light is very low but close to the street lights it gets super bright. People constantly move and trying to get a good photo is really exhausting. The parade begins at midnight on Boxing Day and goes on all night till 8 or 9 in the morning. The colors, the rhythms and the costumes are just an amazing experience.

Unframed Size: 16"x12" - $350
Framed Size: 23.62"x19.68" - $550

Alessandro

Night Parade

New Providence

Photographing a Junkanoo Parade is the most difficult thing to do after participating to the parade itself. Light is very low but close to the street lights it gets super bright. People constantly move and trying to get a good photo is really exhausting. The parade begins at midnight on Boxing Day and goes on all night till 8 or 9 in the morning. The colors, the rhythms and the costumes are just an amazing experience.

Unframed Size: 12"x16" - $350
Framed Size: 19.68"x23.62" - $550

Alessandro

Village Tailor

New Providence

Strolling around Grant Town in Nassau I discovered this little tailor shop on the corner if the street. The light was perfect and the colors beautiful. The following day I went back to bring a pair of trousers that needed some sewing.

Unframed Size: 16"x12" - $400
Framed Size: 23.62"x19.68" - $650

Alessandro

Mrs. Ro

Eleuthera

I met Mrs. Ro a few years ago and since then every time I drove down to South Eleuthera I stopped to say hello. Sadly she passed away last year and didn't have a chance to say goodbye. This photograph will keep her alive in my memories.

Unframed Size: 16"x12" - $400
Framed Size: 23.62"x19.68" - $650

Alessandro

At the Pineapple Festival

Eleuthera

I met Alvina at the Pineapple Festival in Eleuthera. She was fun and very photogenic. I really enjoyed photographing her. In the video below she is wishing Merry Christmas.

Unframed Size: 16"x12" - $700
Framed Size: 26"x24" - $950

Alessandro

Dr. Seabreeze

Eleuthera

Dr. Seabreeze is an Eleuthera Icon. His Calypso music has and still is delighting locals and visitors to the island.

Unframed Size: 12"x16" - $350
Framed Size: 19.68"x23.62" - $550

Alessandro

Cat Island Woman

Cat Island

One of the many charming ladies of Cat Island. I loved her hat and dress as well as the old house in the background.

Unframed Size: 12"x16" - $350
Framed Size: 19.68"x23.62" - $550

Alessandro

Junkanoo Parade IV

New Providence

Photographing a Junkanoo Parade is the most difficult thing to do after participating to the parade itself. Light is very low but close to the street lights it gets super bright. People constantly move and trying to get a good photo is really exhausting. The parade begins at midnight on Boxing Day and goes on all night till 8 or 9 in the morning. The colors, the rhythms and the costumes are just an amazing experience.  This particular portrait captures the incredible energy of Junkanoo.

Unframed Size: 18"x12" - $350
Framed Size: 26.77"x20.86" - $650

Alessandro

Exuma Nights

Exumas

Spending New Year's eve in a little island in the Exumas is very special. The night was fun and rich of music, colors and tradition.

Unframed Size: 8"x12" - $220
Framed Size: 13.38"x17.32" - $350

Alessandro

Junkanoo Parade V

New Providence

Photographing a Junkanoo Parade is the most difficult thing to do after participating to the parade itself. Light is very low but close to the street lights it gets super bright. People constantly move and trying to get a good photo is really exhausting. The parade begins at midnight on Boxing Day and goes on all night till 8 or 9 in the morning. The colors, the rhythms and the costumes are just an amazing experience.  This particular portrait captures the incredible energy of Junkanoo.

Unframed Size: 24"x16" - $700
Framed Size: 33.85"x26" - $900

Alessandro

Junkanoo Parade VI

New Providence

Photographing a Junkanoo Parade is the most difficult thing to do after participating to the parade itself. Light is very low but close to the street lights it gets super bright. People constantly move and trying to get a good photo is really exhausting. The parade begins at midnight on Boxing Day and goes on all night till 8 or 9 in the morning. The colors, the rhythms and the costumes are just an amazing experience.  This particular portrait captures the incredible energy of Junkanoo.

Unframed Size: 24"x16" - $700
Framed Size: 33.85"x26" - $900

Alessandro

Junkanoo Parade VII

New Providence

Photographing a Junkanoo Parade is the most difficult thing to do after participating to the parade itself. Light is very low but close to the street lights it gets super bright. People constantly move and trying to get a good photo is really exhausting. The parade begins at midnight on Boxing Day and goes on all night till 8 or 9 in the morning. The colors, the rhythms and the costumes are just an amazing experience.  This particular portrait captures the incredible energy of Junkanoo.

Unframed Size: 24"x16" - $700
Framed Size: 33.85"x26" - $900