“Branislav Jankic got the idea for this project. It happened that he saw a book I was hiding in a drawer. That was a book where I collected all the pictures of Evar,” says Gian Paolo Barbieri, who recently launched his book, Flowers of My Life. “That’s a very secret, private book, which I had never shown to anyone before. Branislav thought that was a beautiful book and he convinced me to share that with others.”
Fashion photographer Gian Paolo Barbieri pens a story that took place 25 years ago — and he does so symbolically by juxtaposing his photographs of flowers with poetry by Branislav Jankic (from the perspective of Barbieri), and notes from his former lover, Evar Locatelli.
Photographs chronicle his three-year relationship with the model, simultaneously tapping into that unendurable pain of heartbreak that’s being searingly present ever since his death. Below, GARAGE gets some excerpts from the book — heart-wrenching poetry, love-gushing notes and hard-hitting photography.
A Little Red Rose
I wanted to give you a little red rose.
On Saturday I went to the flower market, but they didn’t have the right one.
So I tried to draw a little red rose for you.
I drew the stem. I drew the leaf.
But the rose itself I failed to draw.
I drew and I erased, and drew and erased.
But it wasn’t right…
So I left the stem. I left the leaf.
And wrote in words where the rose should have been: “A little red rose for
All imagery courtesy of Gian Paolo Barbieri. A Little Red Rose by Branislav Jankic.