New York Photo Review
Volume 2 Issue 42 November 29 to December 5, 2011

Making Caribbean Dance by Susanna Sloat
The Genetic Wars by Barbara Confino
Soho Photo Gallery
Central Booking Magazine

New Jersey - Afterlife
Michael Massaia
Afterlife Portfolio
Ed Barnas
Afterlife Portfolio - Moby Dick and Swing Rige by Michael Massaia. Source: okharris.com
Michael Massaia, "Afterlife Portfolio - Moby Dick and Swing Rige" 2009

Walking into OK Harris is a somewhat eerie experience, surrounded as you are by eleven 30 x 40 platinum/palladium prints of amusement parks in the hours before dawn makes. Reminiscent of some of the old black & white Twilight Zone episodes, these prints of parks along the Jersey Shore with their luminous tones, odd mix of lit and unlit areas, dark skies, and oversized figures have an unreal appearance.

Some are taken front-on and symmetrical (Starship 2000); others are shot off to the side with exaggerated perspective (Music Express); all trade on the mixture of awe and wonder old-time amusement parks engender. In general there is such depth I could almost walk into the image space.

Afterlife-1 Ref:3.1 by Michael Massaia. Source: michaelmassaia.com
Michael Massaia, "Afterlife-1 Ref:3.1"

While digital files enhanced in PhotoShop might come to mind on first seeing these prints, they are actually the result of a traditional analog process–– “one shot” photos as Massaia puts it. Each starts as a large format view camera negative. That negative is then enlarged to create an even larger negative which is contact printed onto hand-coated paper. Manipulation is limited to traditional dodging and burning during the inter-negative process or when contact printing.

Effectively guiding the eye, as is evident in several images such as Casino Pier Ax Man, this is a process Massaia has worked long to perfect. (One he has used to great effect in other portfolios. Central Park, Chinatown, NYC billboards, Detached Houses in New Jersey can be previewed at his website.)

It is heartening to see such work done by a young photographer who has taken the time to master old processes and has the visual sense to use them both appropriately and well.

Michael Massaia
Afterlife Portfolio


O.K. Harris Works of Art
383 W Broadway
Lower Manhattan - West         Map

212 431 3600
okharris.com

Saturday, October 29 to
Saturday, December 3, 2011
Hours: Tues-Sat, 10 to 6
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The Genetic Wars by Barbara Confino
Making Caribbean Dance by Susanna Sloat
Central Booking Magazine
Soho Photo Gallery