Graphis honors bonafide photography doyen Bill Diodato in this week’s Graphis Master selection.
Mastery of the fine arts is seldom an easy feat. It requires dedication, persistence, and most of all, courage. The pursuit of one’s artistic vision is a never-ending battle, one that Bill Diodato has been able to achieve with praiseworthy quality and creative fidelity. From his revered work for Victoria’s Secret to his award-winning monograph series Care of Ward 81, Diodato has been extensively involved in the upper echelons of both commercial photography and socioculturally inclined introspective work. Diodato‘s body has seemingly no bounds, making his much-deserved inclusion as a Graphis Master an unavoidable bestowment.
Born and raised in New England, Diodatowas enamored with photography from an early age. Inspired by the work of legendary photographer Irving Penn, Diodato pursued the craft by attending the Hallmark Institute of Photography. After graduating, the aspiring artist moved to Boston to work as an assistant. It was in Boston that the naturally talented photographer intrigued stylist Anne Gabriele, who then referred him to the advertising agency Commercial Graphics Incorporated. By that point, Diodatohad become a fully fledged studio manager. The photographer’swork had then begun to flourish, allowing him to work extensively with advertising and editorial clients.
Beyond his artistic work, Diodatohas also contributed significantly to sociocultural events such as his forensically studied footage of the collapse of the World Trade Center on September 11 and his time documenting the defunct Oregon State Mental Hospital in his lauded Care of Ward 81. The latter work was an emotionally and thought-provoking piece, one that led the artist to ponder on societal norms of decay. “Ward 81 is gone, and metaphorically so are the stereotypes associated with women who are afflicted with mental illness,” said Diodato. The artist went on to explain, “my intention in publishing these images is to present the physical crumbling and decaying cells, which represent the end of old, corrupt, poorly-run asylums and bring about a sense of closure for the women of Ward 81.” It seems that Diodato did just that, as the project was recognized with the Eric Hoffer Book Award, Communication Arts, American Photography, the International Book Award, and Photo District News.