From Elin Spring’s review of Rafael Soldi’s solo exhibition for her blog What Will You Remember?:
It’s ironic, isn’t it? No one likes to suffer, but musicians, writers, and artists of every ilk unfailingly create some of their most brilliant work while in the throws of agony.
Rafael Soldi poignantly intertwines anguish and beauty in his photographs from the series “Sentiment,” a chronicle of his “emotional exorcism” following the sudden loss of the man he loved. Soldi’s large (24”x30”) color prints have an airy, sometimes desolate feeling and capitalize on natural lighting to convey his avalanche of emotions. The soft, diffused light of “Last Embrace” embodies tenderness, whereas his image of a solitary ashtray aflame is isolated in relative darkness. The stark contrast of hard surfaces with a fragile, burning letter in “A Step Toward Something I Have Yet To Figure Out” symbolically conveys his darkest, feverish feelings of “panic, regret, fear and loss.”
Whether images of emotion-laden objects or of the lovers themselves, Soldi’s photographs are wrenching in their understated simplicity. The absence of cloying sentimentality confers a raw elegance, even a measure of hope. His gentle style evokes not only our compassion but an implicit understanding of Soldi’s “struggle to reconstruct a life without the very thing that I thought defined it.”