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Michael Massaia - Eaglevale Arch Looking North
Michael Massaia
Eaglevale Arch Looking North
Selectively/Split Toned Gelatin Silver Contact Print (one off toning)
2017
30 x 40 inches

Signed and numbered 1/10 on recto.

Michael Massaia - Deep in a dream - Central Park - West Side Sunrise #2
Michael Massaia
Deep In A Dream - Central Park - West Side Sunrise #2
Toned Silver Gelatin Photograph
2013, printed 2013
20 x 24 inches

Signed and numbered (edition of 20) on print's recto.

Michael Massaia - Deep in A Dream - Central Park - Fading Away
Michael Massaia
Deep in A Dream - Central Park - Fading Away
Platinum/Palladium photograph
2011
20 x 16 inches
Signed, titled, dated and # 1/15 in pencil on verso.
Michael Massaia - Deep in A Dream - Central Park - Gapstow Bridge
Michael Massaia
Deep In A Dream - Central Park - Gapstow Bridge
Toned Silver Gelatin Photograph
2009, printed 2014
40 x 30 inches

Signed, titled, dated and editioned on verso. Signed and numbered (edition of 10) on recto.

Michael Massaia - Deep In A Dream - Central Park - North West View
Michael Massaia
Deep In A Dream - Central Park - North West View
Selenium Toned Silver Gelatin Photograph
2014
30 x 40 inches

Signed and numbered 3/10 on recto.

Michael Massaia - Deep in A Dream - Central Park - West Side Sunrise
Michael Massaia
Deep in A Dream - Central Park - West Side Sunrise
Gold and Selenium Toned Silver Gelatin Photograph
2009, printed later
22 x 28 inches

Signed and numbered 12/20 on recto.

Michael Massaia - The Mall - 4am, Deep In A Dream - Central Park
Michael Massaia
The Mall - 4am, Deep In A Dream - Central Park
Gold and Selenium Toned Silver Gelatin Photograph
2013, printed later
22 x 28 inches

Signed and numbered 1/20 on recto.

Michael Massaia - Clock Installation, Deep In A Dream - Central Park
Michael Massaia
Clock Installation, Deep In A Dream - Central Park
Gold Toned Silver Gelatin Photograph
2016, printed later
22 x 28 inches

Signed and numbered 3/20 on recto.

Michael Massaia - Deep in A Dream - Central Park - Central Park Moonrise
Michael Massaia
Deep in A Dream - Central Park - Central Park Moonrise
Selenium Toned Silver Gelatin Photograph
2009, printed later
53 x 43 inches
Signed and numbered 1/3 on recto.
Michael Massaia | East Side Exit, Deep In A Dream
Michael Massaia
East Side Exit, Deep In A Dream - Central Park
Gold Toned Silver Gelatin Photograph
2009, printed 2016
22 x 28 inches

Signed & numbered on recto - Signed, numbered, titled, & dated on verso (edition of 20).

Michael Massaia - West Side Path & San Remo - Pre-Dawn, Deep In A Dream
Michael Massaia
West Side Path & San Remo - Pre-Dawn, Deep In A Dream - Central Park
Gold Toned Silver Gelatin Photograph
2016, printed 2016
53 x 42 inches

Signed and numbered 1/3 on recto. Signed, numbered, titled, & dated on mount's verso.

Michael Massaia - Deep in A Dream-Central Park-4am London Plane Trees
Michael Massaia
Deep in A Dream - Central Park - 4am London Plane Trees
Platinum/Palladium photograph on Somerset Satin Rag Paper
2009
42 x 32 inches
Signed, titled, dated and AP (from an edition of 5) on verso.
Michael Massaia - Deep In A Dream - Central Park - Naumburg Bandshell
Michael Massaia
Deep In A Dream - Central Park - Naumburg Bandshell
Toned Silver Gelatin Photograph
2013, printed 2013
20 x 24 inches

Signed and numbered (edition of 20) on print's recto.

Michael Massaia - "Ditch Light" - Grand Central Station Project - 1:30am Whisper
Michael Massaia
"Ditch Light" - Grand Central Station Project - 1:30am Whisper Room
Gold Toned Silver Gelatin Photograph
2016
20 x 28 inches

Signed and numbered 1/10 on recto. Signed, numbered, titled, & dated on mount's verso.

Michael Massaia - "Ditch Light" - Grand Central Station Project - 2 am Corridor
Michael Massaia
"Ditch Light" - Grand Central Station Project - 2 am Corridor
Selenium Toned Silver Gelatin Photograph
2016
53 x 43 inches

Signed and numbered 1/3 on recto. Signed, numbered, titled, & dated on mount's verso.

Michael Massaia - Afterlife - New Jersey Shore - The Star Jet
Michael Massaia
Afterlife - New Jersey Shore - The Star Jet
Selenium Toned Silver Gelatin Photograph
2009, Printed 2015
20 x 24 inches

Signed, titled, dated and editioned on verso. Signed and # 10/20 on recto.

Michael Massaia - Afterlife - New Jersey - Moby Dick & Swing Ride
Michael Massaia
Afterlife - New Jersey - Moby Dick & Swing Ride
Selenium Toned Silver Gelatin Photograph
2009, Printed 2015
30 x 40 inches
Signed, titled, dated and editioned on verso. Signed and # 1/10 on recto.
Michael Massaia - Afterlife - New Jersey - Rock & Roll Himalaya
Michael Massaia
Afterlife - New Jersey - Rock & Roll Himalaya
Selenium Toned Silver Gelatin Photograph
2009, Printed 2015
30 x 40 inches

Signed, titled, dated and editioned on verso. Signed and # 1/10 on recto.

Michael Massaia - Afterlife - New Jersey Shore - Point Pleasant Fun House
Michael Massaia
Afterlife - New Jersey Shore - Point Pleasant Fun House
Selenium Toned Silver Gelatin Photograph
2010, printed 2015
30 x 40 inches

Signed, titled, dated and editioned on verso. Signed and # 1/10 on recto.

Michael Massaia - In The Final Throes, New Jersey
Michael Massaia
In The Final Throes, New Jersey
Platinum/Palladium Photograph on Baryta Paper
1999
15 x 12 inches
Signed, titled, dated numbered (edition of 15) in pencil on verso
Michael Massaia - In The Final Throes, New Jersey, Somers Place
Michael Massaia
In The Final Throes, New Jersey, Somers Place
Platinum/Palladium Photograph
1999
32 x 42 inches
Signed, titled, dated numbered (edition of 5) in pencil on verso

Deep in a Dream with
Michael Massaia

3/31/18 - 4/28/18

Michael Massaia’s nocturnal images present a uniquely poetic and pure body of work. The photographer’s hand-crafted images capture the quietude and isolation of the city during the hushed hours of the early morning by creating luminous, ethereal landscapes devoid of people. The parks, amusement rides and abandoned houses become dramatic sets waiting to be brought to life.

Massaia began his quiet walks at night in Central Park to relieve an ongoing insomnia, taking pictures of New York City during the walks between 2:00 A.M. and 5:00 A.M. Massaia’s interest in photography began in high school and though self-taught, his practice has grown into a superb craftsmanship that includes perfecting enlarging negatives, building his own cameras, and contact printing both silver and platinum photographs. Being raised in New Jersey and remaining in the New York City metro area, Massaia’s photography is based on locations close to the photographer’s upbringing. In Massaia’s photography, the most visited urban park in the United States, Central Park, becomes a fantastic landscape that shimmers in the half-light of the moon, with radiating pathways and mirror-like bodies of water. Iconic buildings become luminescent and appear alive, radiating light from within themselves while bridges and trees seem eerie and haunting.

Massaia’s single-minded objective vision compels him to control all aspects of his practice, allowing for his captivating images to be possible. Massaia is enamored with the medium and the potential expressive power of various photographic processes. The complex procedure of hand making platinum prints, demonstrate the photographer’s dedication and mastery of making extraordinary photography. Massaia prefers to shoot right before dawn, explaining:

“My favorite lighting is usually half hour before the sun rises, everything is kind of equally lit and it gives me a really blank palette to develop my film and when I’m making my print to kind of selectively dodge and burn it, the sun isn’t dictating where I want my shadows, I dictate that.”

The photographer dodges and burns his photos in the chemical development process to accentuate and diffuse the light captured in the negative, effectively painting with light. Massaia’s photographs have a magical quality that augments reality while presenting a recognizable still-life. His images have a storytelling potential, akin to a hauntingly beautiful dream sequence. The chemistry and paper used in order to produce the final photographs have an organic quality that surpasses digital photography, creating a fantastic image that nevertheless feels palpable and intimate.

Massaia intentionally uses bridges and tunnels in several of his images. In the photographs, the center of field is in tight focus while the periphery of the image begins to fade out, mimicking the physiology of how the eye sees at night. A symptom of acute sleep deprivation is called “tunnel-vision”, where a constricted field of vision restricts peripheral vision. As Massaia perambulates through parks and amusement rides, he finds solace in the structures of nature and the deserted arabesque like environment.
Massaia does not shoot in the day, when most people are present, but works in a solitary meditative state, constantly pushing himself to master his photographic observations, compositions, and the demanding process of his large-format picture making.

“Black and white large format film has a quality, an organic quality, a dimension that is so superior to anything that can be done digitally. I use view cameras and monorail view cameras, and field cameras and it gets me closer to what I’m imagining. All those cameras have perspective controls, and all these things that can really, you can really hone in exactly what your envisioning. When you use a large-format camera the process of setting it up and envisioning the picture and matching kind of what you are seeing, it’s a thoughtful process, it’s thoughtful, and it’s hard; it’s a difficult process, and to me that validates it.”

Through the desolate landscapes and eerie realism in the pictures, Michale Massaia’s “oeuvre” presents the quiet solitude of the night. Reminiscent of Edward Steichen’s pictures of nocturnal New York or Eugene Atget’s dramatic recording of early morning Paris, Massaia’s crepuscular scenes hold individual moments close while working to disconnect spaces from our previous associations. He creates new possibilities for imagining the city. The work’s eerie tranquility give respite to the spirit and helps overcome the cacophony of the city.

“After all the thousands of prints I’ve made, I still find it exciting finishing an uncompromised print and knowing that I’m the only person that was involved in its creation.”