Cristina Franzoni, a member of the editorial staff of “ Zoom Magazine” – an international photography magazine – was the first to notice Varini as a landscape photographer while he was shooting photos of the Apennines for the Tourist Board of the Reggio Emilia Province, and she encouraged him to exhibit his work in Italy and internationally.
In 2004, the catalogue Radici (Roots) was published, with a preface by the writer Alfredo Gianolio, a friend of Zavattini. In 2006, the first Gallery dedicated exclusively to photography opened in his native city and would soon become the venue of his courses and the meeting place of many photographers. In 2007, Professor Arturo Carlo Quintavalle invited him to place his works in the archive holdings of the University of Parma‘s CSAC (Study Centre and Communication Archive), which hosts the works of many important Italian photographers. Quintavalle himself then wrote the introduction to his first book, Silenzi (published by Meridiana, 2008), featuring his most important works starting from 1978.
Further important recognitions came after his first solo exhibition staged at the Galleria Parmeggiani in Reggio Emilia, acclaimed by the public and the critics as the best within the Fotografia Europea 2009 festival and now among the holdings of the Panizzi Photo Library. The accompanying catalogue, titled Eternity (Electa publishers), also featuring photos by Sudek, Baudrillard, Ghirri, Fontcuberta and Huguier, among others, was edited by Elio Grazioli. Also in 2009, after exhibiting in Arles, he was invited to exhibit in Nantes and Paris.
He was then commissioned by the firm Duccio Grassi Architects to conduct a photographic study of Max Mara‘s new flagship store in Milan. This was followed up by an exhibition at the Salone del Mobile trade show. In 2011, he collaborated with Fotografia Europea on the festival’s portfolio readings. He then exhibited in the Garden of Ravenna Cathedral for Banca Popolare. In 2012, he was invited to the Einaudi Gallery in Mantua and to the second edition of MIA (Milan Image Art Fair) as a “proposal” put forward by expert critics. One of his photos was selected by Le Monde as representative of the MIA Fair, curated by its director Fabio Castelli. In 2012, a paperback of his photographs entitled Luoghi Comuni (Common places) was published, with verses by Pierluigi Tedeschi and edited by Emanuele Ferrari. During that same period he exhibited at the Magazzini del Sale in Cervia and in Rimini with a retrospective curated by Alessandra Bigi Iotti and Giulio Zavatta (art historians). This led to the publication of a catalogue produced in special paper with poems by Sabrina Foschini (“ Da Mare a Mare” – From Sea to Sea).
He participated in Photissima (Turin) in 2013 and in the MIA Fair (Milan) in 2013 and 2014. An anthological exhibition on his “Stanze” was held at the Rocca dei Gonzaga castle in Novellara (Reggio Emilia). He was invited to Japan to exhibit his works printed on cotton paper, which have a particular resonance with the Eastern tradition. In 2013, he exhibited in Pietrasanta (Lucca) and at the Ketterer Kunst Gallery in Berlin.
In 2014, he exhibited his work inspired by the painter Edward Hopper and other Flemish painters. During the same period he participated in a symposium on Luigi Ghirri organized by the British School at Rome, and his book Silenzi was placed among the holdings of the Library of the MAXXI gallery in Rome. He was also invited to Montecarlo (Days of Italian Culture), Paris (Fotofewer), Lugano and Parma. In 2015, he brought out his monograph published by Skira and edited by A. C. Quintavalle.
In 2016, after exhibiting his “Silenzi Bianchi” (White silences) in Tokyo and at the Reggia di Colorno (Parma), he ended the year with a major retrospective exhibition of 170 works, organized in collaboration with the Reggio Emilia City Museums and City Council, staged at the Chiostri di San Domenico, also curated by Arturo Carlo Quintavalle with whom Varini has been fortunate enough to collaborate for several years now.
In 2017, he is continuing his photography activities, including through his increasingly popular workshops and seminars on composition, and will be a guest in Germany and Switzerland.