Growing up in an Italian-American household and living with my paternal immigrant
grandparents for five years, established in me strong cultural ties and a curiosity
When I became a photographer, I yearned to travel, and Italy was utmost on my list
of places to explore.
In 1975, I made an extended journey throughout Italy, resulting in the series that
I am presenting titled “Perso la Bussola” (“Lost the Compass”). This phrase was
coined by a friend who lived in Venice to aptly describe the way I approached
photographing. Loosely explained, I intuitively move about the streets of a city,
drawn towards subjects and situations conducive to my way of seeing. A detail
glimpsed in the corner of my eye might encourage me to venture down a particular
My intention with this series is to present a document of the street life of Italian
cities and towns in the 1970s. The photographs inform the viewer of styles of dress,
public behavior, social interactions and people’s relationship with their immediate
My intention is to reveal something of human nature without criticizing, belittling or
judging, and maintain an appreciation for the dignity of humankind.
-Patrick D. Pagnano
Copyright © 2023 Patrick D. Pagnano - All Rights Reserved.
“In 1980, the acclaimed street photographer Patrick D. Pagnano went on assignment to document the Empire and its legendary cast of partygoers. The resulting photographs, gathered in Empire Roller Disco for the first time, capture the vibrant spirits, extraordinary styles, and sheer joys of Brooklyn roller disco at its dizzying peak.”