I spent most of my life shooting and painting. When I finally realized that I need both, and they don’t need to be separate works, it set me free.

Both the environment and every living being in it are constantly changing and their most significant qualities are invisible to the eye. So, I asked myself, how can talk about something invisible in a photograph?

Paint is a wonderful medium that opens you to infinite possibilities, but this extreme versatility feels limiting to me as I need the deep connection to the world around me that photography brings.

I need the creative freedom of painting as much as I need the tight grip on the physical world that photography creates.

Photography is deeply related to what we see, to the physical reality. Many scholars have discussed this topic at length, much better than I could ever do. It may be ‘the death of reality’, a ‘hyperreality’ or a ‘minute part of reality’, in any case its profound connection to the world that physically exists it’s undeniable.

But we perceive this world through our senses. We depend on our senses to tell us the truth, we believe in what we see, hear, smell, touch, and taste, but do we ever question whether our senses, like a photograph, are being manipulated? We are emotional beings, our senses are unstable, volatile and constantly manipulated by our emotions so how can we trust them to tell us what is real? How can we all agree on one version of reality?

An individual’s sensory perception is completely their own and the way you perceive things, may be completely different from the way I perceive things. Then emotions come into play, and the only possibility seems that’s we are all living multiple realities.

By combining photography and painting I try to visualize these multiple realities: photography keeps me connected to the material world, its rules and its discipline, while painting allows me to investigate perception and imagination by giving a form and a colour to things invisible to the eye.

Photography helps me make sense to what I see, and painting helps me make sense to what I feel. For me both forms of art are essential and deeply connected one to the other. By combining photography and painting I feel I have found my own medium of expression which allows my emotions to be the defining elements of my realities.

Photography and painting are two very different art forms, they have different procedures, development, meanings and principles.

The shooting, the study of the printed picture as it is a canvas on which a fraction of the world has been impressed outside time and space, the mixing of the colours on the palette, the practice of techniques are all necessary pieces of the process of understanding reality, imagination and their profound connection. To me the process is even more important than the result and perhaps this is why I need to handle painting and photography separately and digital manipulation would never work for me. By digitally manipulating a photograph I would feel I’m appropriating of painting purpose without absorbing the process, therefore I could never have a full understanding of the meaning. Only at the end, after I try to learn as much as possible from both art forms, they become one image, one medium.

In this way I try to go beyond the representation of the physical world by embracing it and only by combining photography and painting, I can express my personal reality how I see it: a mess of perceived shapes, shifting colours, textures, words, noise, silence, memories, regrets, hopes and dreams that change, evolve and transform like every living being and together with every living being.

Most things of value in our lives are invisible, and how can we define them as ‘real’ if we can not see them? And how can photography capture them? How often what you cannot see is infinitely more important than what you can see?

Photography, more than any other art, is based on what our eyes can see. Does this mean that there are things a photo cannot show?

Perhaps reality and imagination aren’t opposite concept, but imagination can help us seeing what reality hides behind the curtains of visual perception.

In the same way, when painting and photography work together, imagination can penetrate reality allowing us to finally see what before we could only feel, dream or imagine.

I hope with my work made of photography and paint, to show something invisible. We are made of what we feel, of what we dream and imagine and maybe, sometimes we need to see the invisible to remind ourselves that what makes our lives worth living can’t be seen with the eyes.

 

CV

I was born on the Amalfi Cost, I grew up near Venice and now I’m based in London.

2016 Honourable mention – IPA International photography awards

2017 ArtAscent, Art & Literature Journal, issue 26 Abstract, pp. 30-32

2017 Shortlisted – Lucie Foundation 2017 photo made scholarship

2017 Honourable mention – Golden Orchid Photo Award, fine art category

2017 Honourable mention – International Photographer of the Year Awards, fine art category

2018 Group exhibition – Selfie 2018, Candid Arts gallery, London EC1V 1NQ

2018 Honourable mention – Neutral Density Photography Awards

2018 Wotisart? portfolio magazine, issue 12, pp. 17-18

2018 1st Prize Winner – FAPA Fine Art Photography Award, Open theme category

2018 Nominee – FAPA Fine Art Photography Award, Portrait category

2018 Nominee – FAPA Fine Art Photography Award, Photomanipulation category

2018 Online group exhibition – F-Stop magazine, Issue 89 – Altered image

2018 Blog feature – Artists Inspire Artists

2018 Group exhibition – (In)visible, Espacio Gallery, London E2 7DG

2018 Average Art Magazine, issue 26, pp. 1-2

2018 A5 Magazine, issue 18, pp. 3-4 and back cover

2018 Selah International literary & art magazine, issue 3, online edition

2018 Honourable mention – Chromatic Awards, International Color Photography Contests, Photomanipulation category

2019 Underexposed Magazine, online edition

 

CONTACTS

m.angelagallo@gmail.com

+44 787 633 7435