Michael Massaia, Half Moon
Half Moon
Michael Massaia, Bow Bridge
Bow Bridge
Massaia_West Side Path and San Remo-980
West Side Path and San Remo
Michael Massaia, North West View
North West View
Michael Massaia, West Side Sunrise
West Side Sunrise
Michael Massaia, Clock Installation
Clock Installation
Michael Massaia, The Mall, 4am
The Mall, 4 a.m.
Michael Massaia, Gapstow Bridge
Gapstow Bridge
Michael Massaia, Zoo Entrance
Zoo Entrance
Michael Massaia, Private Gardens
Private Gardens
Michael Massaia, Night Fall, The Ramble
Night Fall, The Ramble
Michael Massaia, Couple#1
Couple #1
Michael Massaia, Couple #6
Couple #6 (Vertical Abstract)
Sleeper #1
Massaia, Installation I
Installation Image I
Massaia, Installation II
Installation Image II
Massaia, Installation III
Installation Image III
Massaia, Installation IV
Installation Image IV
Massaia, Installation V
Installation Image V
Massaia, Installation VI
Installation Image VI
Massaia, Installation VII
Installation Image VII
Michael Massaia, Installation VIII
Installation Image VIII
Massaia, Installation IX
Installation Image IX

September 28 – November 25, 2017

Opening reception:
Thursday, September 28, 2017
6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

ClampArt is pleased to announce “Michael Massaia | Deep in a Dream: New York City”—the artist’s first solo show with the gallery.

Sometime in his mid-20s, Michael Massaia began experiencing extreme bouts of insomnia. To fill the sleepless nights, the artist would travel into Manhattan to enjoy walks through the city without all of the chaos and cacophony. Carrying his personally retooled large-format cameras, Massaia started to shoot elegant, hushed photographs of Central Park devoid of people. Often preferring the early spring when the trees and bushes were just beginning to bloom, he would wait for the hour preceding dawn—looking for only a hint of the coming sun in the morning sky before the emergence of any harsh shadows.

Utilizing slow black-and-white film, Massaia meticulously prints and tones his large-scale analog photographs in his darkroom back in New Jersey, which has been customized to produce prints up to 3.5 x 4.5 feet. The impressively rich, detailed gelatin silver prints exhibit a breathtaking tonal scale due to a stain developer called Pyro (notorious for its toxicity).

Massaia continued his exploration of New York City in daylight hours shooting sleepers and sunbathers in Sheep Meadow. Massaia was attracted to the people he found in “perfect unassuming poses” who almost appear to be leaving their bodies. Entirely unaware of the artist and his camera, the subjects possess a profound sense of relief, as if they are completely releasing all tension in a city otherwise bustling with frenetic activity. Back in the darkroom, dramatically burning in the whole area surrounding the sleepers, the artist isolates the figures, making them seem as if they are suspended in air.

Michael Massaia is a fine art photographer and printmaker who has crafted an enviable body of work comprising fifteen portfolios by depicting ordinary and often overlooked subjects close at hand. Isolation and quietude are a constant in all of his work. He focuses primarily on large format, black-and-white film, utilizing a variety of highly modified proprietary analog and digital printing techniques. Massaia always works alone and is the sole craftsman from the instant the negative is exposed to the moment the final print is produced.

The solo show at ClampArt coincides with the release of the artist’s first monograph titled Scenes from a Childhood from Brilliant Press (Hardcover, 12.5 x 10.5 inches, 96 pages, 73 color illustrations, ISBN: 978-0-9973826-3-1), $75 + shipping.

Work by Michael Massaia

Press Releases

Press Coverage

Blog Posts