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.