Cuban-born photographer Abelardo Morell has long been interested in photographic processes, in particular that of the camera obscura. For the past 20 years, he has transformed rooms into visual theatres on to whose walls the external world is projected. On the surface, however, are the everyday furnishings of these rooms: tables, chairs, beds, carpets, plants, shelves, books and other decorative objects. When his city, New York, and its parks, bridges, and the architecture of the most beautiful cities of the world blend into his private space, it becomes almost hallucinogenic. There might be nothing new to the technique, but it’s still easy to let oneself be carried away by the colorful trompe-l’oeil patterns, especially when an open door seems to invite one into another dimension.
The American photographer also invented the “tent camera,” a kind of portable camera obscura which he uses to observe landscapes in the most remote corners of the world. He set up the device on the cobbled streets of Toledo, in the middle of National Parks and San Francisco Bay, combining the projections with pebbles and blades of grass, resulting in a more abstract result closer to pointillist painting.
A lover of still life, another side of his work, Morell likes classical things, altering complex techniques and deceptively simple studies. We may, however, through his pictures from around the globe, feel the wonder and curiosity of the world that surrounds him.
Some Recent Pictures
Through December 20th 2014
Edwynn Houk Gallery
745 Fifth Avenue
New York NY 10151
Tel 212 750 7070