There are two things that always really struck me about Efrem’s work. The first was that he didn’t believe in physiognomics and that’s really quite interesting, because when people see portraits of themselves, they are hardly ever pleased. You have to have a good eye and a strong sense of abstraction, because you obviously know what all your defects are and, paradoxically, a good photographer can make you see these defects even better. It’s not that they make them more obvious, they just make you see them better. He, on the other hand, maintained that physiognomics didn’t exist, which accounts for his approach to portraits. We chose his portraits of the great Milanese designers for this exhibition. Efrem’s thing about the absence of physiognomics was incredible because – as he said and wrote more than once – whether he was photographing Pupo or Renzo Piano it made absolutely no difference to his approach, in the sense that he believed – and so do I to some extent – that when you’re in front of a camera it’s like being at the cemetery: we are all equal. That, if you like, is also the power of the intellectual democratisation process of photography. He was a portraitist even though he also did things for design, because it was a subject that really interested him. Secondly, I can say that he was a militant photographer, so he put the same commitment, the same time, and the same energy into photographing Vasco Rossi (with whom he had a special relationship), or Valentino Rossi or anyone else. I’ve always liked that because when we worked together, as one used to say, “he always took his work home” and you could be sure that he put exactly the same spirit and power of expression into it even when people were less important. This gallery of portraits confirms that in a way. He was the last remaining punk in photography. He was a real punk. He had been one when he was young and he remained one throughout his life, because there was this side to him that photography was something that he did, it wasn’t a “job.” Perhaps this explains why some of the stances he took, certain fits of temper, didn’t do him any good, but they happened precisely because he took an almost physical approach to photography. This set him apart from many other colleagues in the sense that, as I say in the text that accompanies the exhibition, for Efrem Raimondi, photography was always an opportunity to create small and sometimes large revolutions, because he gave a hundred percent of himself every time. He was a firm believer in the democratic profile of images and was always available to others to record those magical moments of introspection that naturally accompanied and dwelt inside so many private stories. Why was he a great photographer and why did he assert that physiognomics didn’t exist? Because his photographs could have been just as at home in family albums. Scianna always says that the highest aspiration for a photograph is not to end up on the front pages of the New York Times, but in a family album, because that means it contains all the ingredients that make up recognisability. I’ve just curated an exhibition in Milan on Lartigue, an author Efrem really loved, at the Diocesan Museu. What struck him was that he put together 200 family albums – which seems a colossal number, if you think about it – at a time when family albums no longer exist, replaced by telephones. The characteristic of Efrem’s images is that they could be used in a newspaper or in a family album, even though they’re never passport photos and have a certain dimension to them.