Renowned Canadian fashion photographer and visual artist Raphael Mazzucco has an enviable job of traveling the world shooting for Sports Illustrated swimsuit editions, Victoria’s Secret, Guess Jeans, Playboy, Intimissimi lingerie, and a host of other top clients such as Ralph Lauren, Bergdorf Goodman and L’Oreal.
His current major project is an artistic 200-plus page coffee table book of women’s behinds, called CULO by Mazzucco (out November 22), which was executive produced by Jimmy Iovine and Sean “Diddy” Combs, and features dozens of models, as well as Sarah McLachlan, Lady Gage and Fergie.
In recent years, Mazzucco, who always wanted to be a painter, added visual artist to his professional resume.
His work — a mix of his photography, paint, resin and found objects — has been exhibited in Milan, Florence, Melbourne, Singapore, Los Angeles, New York, Toronto, and can sell for as much as $80,000 each.
So when Mazzucco, who now lives in Montauk, part of the famed Hamptons in Long Island, NY, has the opportunity to give back, he donates an art piece — a simple gesture that can have a major impact on a fundraising target.
Earlier this year, one of his paintings raised over 20,000 Euro ($28,000 CAD) for Italy’s Fundaction Privada Samuel Eto’o for the Laquintinie Hospital in Cameroon, Africa.
“I sent paintings to over 50 charities last year,” Mazzucco tells www.samaritanmag.com. “So much of my artwork I’ve donated to a lot of different charities.
“A friend of mine, Anthony Russell is doing a thing in Africa in the Shompole Lodge [to save the lion and land]. I did one for them. Russell Simmons with Petra Nemcova [Happy Hearts Fund]. I did that one. I did the Sarah McLachlan one for the animals, and then I’ve done like five or six around here in the Hamptons. When somebody get sick, it’s such a small community, we raise money for them, for their families."
In the summer, all three Mazzucco’s — including his wife and son who are also photographers — contributed work to Vancouver’s Fashion Hope to raise funds for The Salvation Army, Compasio International and SexTrade 101. Mazzucco was born in Vancouver.
“A lot of times I’ll give a piece of art to a charity and I won’t go,” Mazzucco says. “My biggest involvement was with the OneXOne [in Toronto] during the film festival. I’d go there and I’d shoot all the actors for two days. I loved that. That was my biggest involvement, actually going to the charity and working and hanging out."
Mazzucco doesn't feel the need to ever zero in on one cause to align himself with, he says.
“I read this article about how artists should really figure out which charities they should donate to and not just give give give, but I’m not a believer of that. I think that anytime you can have anything that you can contribute, you should.”Air Jordan