Luz Photo Agency

Leonardo Cendamo

Leonardo Cendamo (b.1939) was born in southern italian province of Foggia where he lived until the age of 22. He then moved to Milan, prompted by the need to experience a different social and cultural milieu. He took on an inevitable series of jobs in order to survive and at the same time attended the "L'Umanitaria" school where he took an advanced course in photography. After two years of assiduous study he was offered a place as assistant to the renowned photographer Franco Scheichenbauer. Subsequently Cendamo received a call from Renato Gozzano, who availed himself of the young man's services for his reportages in "Style Life" magazine. In 1968 the Agenzia Twenty-One International invited Cendamo to work on a compilation of photographic portfolios for top models and a collection of advertising and publicity images. In the same period the recently established weekly magazine "II Chi" called in Cendamo to do a reportage on "Paris by night" (cabaret personalities such as Yves Montand, the audience at the Olympia theatre, the clochards along the Seine). Cendamo experienced the May uprising in Paris (1968) at first hand, and this also cost him a spell in prison for trying to photograph a clash between students and the police. On his return to Milan he worked with Mario Santana, another great photographer of that period. As well as Cendamo's teacher, Santana became his patron.Then the renowned American photographer Alberto Rizzo asked Cendamo to work with him and they collaborated very closely for two years. Immediately after that Cendamo received a call from Giorgio Armani, an event that marked his rise towards the upper echelons of Milanese society. Thanks to Mario Santana, in 1970 Cendamo opened his studio in Milan, where he worked until 1986.
From 1982 until its demise in 2009, all of Leonardo Cendamo's work has been managed by the Grazia Neri Agency. Today he lives in the italian province of Como.