Born in 1965, Floria Sigismondi is an Italian-Canadian director and photographer. As a child, she was obsessed with painting and drawing. She soon converted her interest into formal training by studying the two subjects at Ontario College of Art & Design University. Then she did a course in photography and became fascinated by this subject so much so that she graduated with a photography degree.
Initially, Sigismondi was affiliated with the fashion industry as a photographer. Later, when The Revolver Films approached her, she started to direct music videos. She directed many videos for Canadian music bands. Her work attracted several high-flying musicians by her innovative yet disturbing work, such as The Cure, The White Stripes, Marilyn Manson, and Björk. Sigismondi is represented via Black Dog Films and RSA Films, Los Angeles; and through Believe Media for Commercials.
She has had unaccompanied retrospectives in different parts of the world to show off her sculpture and photography work. The exhibitions were organized in places like Toronto, Brescia, Göteborg, Hamilton, Italy, London, Sweden and New York. Apart from this, Floria Sigismondi has participated in group shows as well, with personalities who belong to the photography and art world, such as Francesco Clemente, Joel-Peter Witkin, and Cindy Sherman. In addition to this, two of her monographs – Redemption, 1999; and Immune, 2005 – have been published by the Die Gestalten Verlag, an art press company. In 2008, Sigismondi made a special appearance in FLicKeR, a documentary film by Nik Sheehan.
Surrealism is a major aspect of Sigismondi’s creativity in all the mediums she employs for her work. When she was young, she had nightmares and good dreams as well. However, all that she could remember were the nightmares and to an extent her work represent nightmares. Another reason that her work is so dark is that in her childhood she experienced a dichotomy between her mother’s desire to become a nun and her father’s opposition towards religion. Also both her parents were opera singers, and to large extend Floria Sigismondi use to spend her time immersed in the sets and costumes of the performance. The tragedies depicted in the opera feat are seeped into her work to date.
In most of her videos, death seems to play a major part and this is because she thinks of death each day since it enables her to live. She gains inspiration not just from other artists or photographers but from daily life, experiences and dreams. She also collects material on art, crimes and architecture. Sigismondi likes to read sensual, mystical and provocative literature, such as The Naked Eye; American Gods; Lila Says; and House of Leaves. All these act as a stimulation for her work.
Sigismondi has a distinct approach towards making photographs and directing videos. A style that has persisted to develop during her professional life. Her sinister images have a contemporary surreal feel and provide an intoxicated experience. Each work by her allow the viewers to seep into a alternate or changed reality that forces people to reinterpret their own realities. Her work acts as a catalyst to question cultural mores of the society and to raise questions against authorities. Moreover, political connotations can be derived often from her work.
Her photographs are hallucinatory, beautiful in a particular way, and morbid. She stages her work in an artificial and strange place with vibrant colors and photographs her own little worlds that she created.