February 1 – March 24, 2018
Thursday, February 1, 2018
6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
ClampArt is pleased to announce “Robert Calafiore | Muses”—the artist’s first solo show with the gallery.
Robert Calafiore employs custom, hand-built pinhole cameras to create large-scale, one-of-a-kind chromogenic prints. The primary subject matter, an impressive collection of decorative glassware inherited from his family, is assembled by stacking, shelving, and balancing pieces into a single tableau within a larger construction. It is then transformed by the unique recording characteristics of the camera’s wide angle, the extended exposure, and the light sensitive paper’s recording abilities. Calafiore manipulates the still life to control the results, altering the saturation, color, density, and translucency of certain areas of the arrangement. Exposures range from 20 minutes to more than an hour, and over a long weekend of back-to-back, 12- to 16-hour days, the artist may be lucky to achieve one successful print. His interest in process, traditional materials, and the reaction between light and chemistry, as well as the personal and universal stories told through everyday objects, drives the work in his studio practice. Elevating the ordinary to the extraordinary and the familiar to a magical place remains a primary motivator. No digital tools are ever used.
In his studio from 2008-11, inspired by classical Greek and Roman art, Calafiore used the same technique to photograph a series of male nudes. Several large-scale examples of these unique photographs will also be included in the exhibition. Reflecting on the endless flood and speed of changing technology, Calafiore steps back and invests in prolonged experimentation and hands-on making that speak to a change in how we use our bodies and in the way we all see, interpret, and react to the world around us, given the on-going digital revolution.
Robert Calafiore was born in New Britain, Connecticut to Italian immigrant parents. Both his early childhood and young adult experiences have played a significant role in shaping his interests and practice. Raised in a traditional Roman Catholic home, and part of a large extended family, the religious influence and the strong ties to traditions and work ethic contributed in molding the way he relates to the world.
Calafiore received his MFA in Photography from the State University of New York at Buffalo and his BFA in Photography from Hartford Art School, where is currently the Assistant Dean and has been teaching photography for over two decades.