Paola Ferrario

New York, NY

Artist’s Statement

There is a self-portrait by Lee Friedlander in which the reflection of the artist’s legs lines up with a vase of flowers in a shop window. On the right of the vase is a framed formal portrait of John and Jackie Kennedy, on the left a sign that spells “carry out orders.” The date of the image is 1963.

Forty-five years later I was looking at that image thinking about how a simple formal photographic game had become a prophecy.

I photograph because in pictures the innocuousness of the present can become a hyper-lucid poetic tale, once the images are edited and recontextualized.

In my daily life I go through streets, parks and buildings finding mostly a generic order. Situations are seen and images produced. It is the sum of these photographs that constitutes my interpretation of our times. Found formal “accidents” become the means to my purpose: to find clarity in apparent absurdity. Fragments become evidence of social history. 

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