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Issue No. 18 - Humanity

CCNY Darkroom Residency: Francesco Palombi "Mente Originaria / Original Mind"

When an artist is granted a year-long darkroom residency by a prolific organization such as Camera Club New York, the first thing you have to expect is absolutely awe-inspiring prints. The second is an innovative look at the next realm for photography. Francesco Palombi doesn't disappoint on either front as one of four local photographers selected to receive resources and a solo exhibition at CCNY. Despite the small space, a raucous crowd gathered at the opening on November 7th. They sipped wine and lauded the incredible tonality in Palombi's print quality, which showed a distinctive universality across subject matter and film formats.

Palombi used drawing and sculpture in creating his images which, although interesting in the process, was not necessary to acknowledge in order to enjoy his work.

He said of his Mente that he "switched from taking a photograph to building a photograph." Despite his lack of proficiency, Palombi began using clay and wire to help construct the images he wanted to photograph. The result, he explains, is meant to be a representation of his mind.

"Dissatisfied by photography as a passive observation of the outside reality, I suddenly felt the urge to create," Palombi wrote. "A portrait of my mind that presents a duality between harmony and darkness."

Although it is impossible to detect whether the photographs successfully depict the inner workings of his head, Palombi created a striking and captivating solo exhibition deserving of the Camera Club name.

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Review by Justin McCallum. Photos by Justin McCallum and courtesy Camera Club New York.

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