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Melissa Morgan Fine Art : Osceola Refetoff : Chromatopia


Los Angeles-based photographer/filmmaker Osceola Refetoff has a solo exhibition, “Chromatopia”, opening at Melissa Morgan Fine Art in Palm Desert.

“Chromotopia” features multispectral exposures made with a camera sensitive to both visual and infrared spectrums, creating vivid and otherworldly color combinations in camera. Refetoff says, “My work has long explored human interactions with the California desert. Palm Springs’ stunning midcentury architecture and exotic landscaping presents a fanciful transformation of this terrain, a vision made possible by water imported from distant sources.”

Several images from “Chromatopia” debuted late last year in the three-person exhibition “Problematic Palms,” curated by art critic Shana Nys Dambrot for the Marks Art Center at College of the Desert. In her curatorial statement, Dambrot says, “Osceola Refetoff’s work with multi-spectral exposures creates arresting infrared images of iconic Palm Springs neighborhoods’ architecture, landscape design, and encroaching wild nature. The impossibly rich chromatic character of the work is in conversation with both Pop art and the technology of scientific survey; the assertive beauty they express contains the unease of invisible color, an inverted dance of naturalism and surrealism, and the seeds of a deeper consideration about the viability of putting a town in the desert in the first place. Lovely, sparkling, water-intensive, manicured, natural, unnatural, otherworldly, seductive, subversive—paradisiacal and problematic.”

At the LA Art Show, as part of its DIVERSEartLA public programming, the Lancaster Museum of Art and History (MOAH), will present “Osceola Refetoff: Repairing the Future,” a multi-media exhibition focusing on global sea level rise, curated by Andi Campognone. DIVERSEartLA is curated for the LA Art Show by Marisa Caichiolo of Santa Monica’s Building Bridges Art Exchange. This year’s programming focuses on water and the record-breaking drought in California, exploring the evolving relationship between memory, humanity, and AI, with seven international museums each showcasing a single artist.

Refetoff is represented by Von Lintel Gallery in Los Angeles, and Melissa Morgan Fine Art in Palm Desert, California.


Osceola Refetoff is a Canadian / American visual artist and photojournalist, known for his innovative use of infrared and pinhole photography to document humanity’s ongoing relationship to the physical world. In parallel careers as an editorial and fine art photographer, his work is characterized by a hyper-realistic and nuanced vision, often yielding surreal, even dreamlike images. His process typically happens “in camera,” at the moment of capture, in a kind of alchemical reaction that transforms the external world into something both unchanged and extraordinary, realistic and magical. A graduate of New York University’s MFA Film Program, his work has been widely exhibited since 1995 by institutions including the San Diego Art Institute, Palm Springs Art Museum, Galerie Huit (Arles, France), and Museo Area Archeologica Arte Contemporaena (Italy), and regularly reviewed in publications such as Artillery, The Los Angeles Times, The Huffington Post, and The British Journal of Photography. Born in Montreal, he lives and works in Los Angeles.


Osceola Refetoff : Chromatopia
February 2 – March 11, 2024
Melissa Morgan Fine Art
The Shops on El Paseo
73660 El Paseo
Palm Desert, CA 92260

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