Michael Massaia is an analog guy in a digital world. Born in New Jersey 32 years ago, the full spectrum of digital tools was available to him, but Michael opted for film and the darkroom, and produced luminous platinum prints of his "life and landscape" images. The results are photos that one might imagine as the life's work of an elderly master.
Michael works with 4x5 and 8x10 view cameras on the sturdiest tripods to record all the precise details his meticulous prints demonstrate. I have enjoyed joy knowing many artists in my life, but none has been more compelling nor more compelled by his or her work than young Michael Massaia. In the four years that Michael has worked to perfect his process, he has worked on virtually nothing else. He eats only occasionally and sometimes sleeps just two or three hours a day. Most often, he shoots in the early morning hours and hones his prints with a perfectionist's eye during the remaining hours. Michael’s platinum prints bring the sharpness of a silver gelatin print together with the expanded gray scale and warmth of platinum in ways that I believe have never been seen before!
Michael has produced 6 different portfolios of work during his years of 24/7 photography. All of Michael’s work is available at Gallery 270. For this online show, we’re presenting the Jersey Shore series called “Afterlife.” Michael sneaks into fenced-off boardwalk pier amusement park areas in the early morning hours to depict these normally bustling areas completely devoid of humanity. He can accomplish this only one or two days a month during the lowest tide times. At any other time, the waves breaking on the piers will cause camera shake which would result in camera movement during the very long time exposures that Michael’s technique requires. This portfolio of work is notable for its otherworldly sharpness and unprecedented tonal range. Highlighted portions of the prints almost appear to be actually lit from within the print. Like all the best photographic work, these must be experienced in person.
For his "Deep In A Dream," Central Park series, Michael roamed the Park in the wee morning hours of March waiting for a precise period just before the trees fully sprouted their leaves. To capture what Michael wanted to depict, no other season or time would do. If the trees had fully sprouted leaves or were barren of any foliage, the photographs would not appear as they do. Michael has an amazing way of imposing difficult parameters on himself in order to be able to depict the elements he wants us to see.
Gallery 270 is proud to present the hauntingly beautiful and groundbreaking platinum portfolios of Michael Massaia.
Gallery 270 / Westwood Hours: Monday-Friday 10-6, Thursday 10-9, Saturday 9-6 Phone: 201-664-4113
Gallery 270 / Englewood Hours: Monday-Friday 10-6, Thursday 10-7, Saturday 10-6 Phone: 201-871-4113