Artist Biographies

Artist Biographies : Carofano, Ray :

Ray Carofano makes hauntingly beautiful photographs. He presents us with a world he finds as much poetic as "aweful". It is grounded in the grand and familiar--ancient trees, graceful tunnels, onimous wires, without lending familiarity. The light within him images appears to come from no apparent source; rather, it comes from from the photographer himself. Indeed, Carofano treats his subjects so they exude a life all their own that only his brand of darkroom alchemy can bring forth. he explains that "photography starts with the eyes, but my work is not just about seeing."

It is also about the language-less realm of emotion and memory, of long childhood days spent in the woods of rural Connecticut where he grew up, and escaped, like a post-war Huck Finn, into the land of his imagination. "Today, sometimes when I\'m working in a wooded area," he says "I relive that experience, and when looking through the viewfinder, I try to isolate things to get that feeling of a strange and mysterious landscape....which allows the viewer to sense what I felt."

In Carofano\'s photograph is a sense of deep time, of history, erosion, decay, passage and renewal. He takes these abstracts ideas and literally allows them to abstract the things he is drawn to. The edges of his world blur, creating images that once literal and metaphoric, apocalyptic and expectant. They are transendent, reconciling the forces of nature with man\'s optomistic attempt at permanence; within each a recurrring cycle of clutural death and exhultant rebirth.

Carol McCusker, PhD
Associate Curator of Photography
Museum of Photographic Arts

Ray Carofano\'s viewpoint is remarkably individual. He is a masterrful print maker who seems to be able to extract the richest, luminous highlights along with lush, dense blacks from ordinary photographic paper. His vision and the mastery he brings to his imagery are extraordinary."
Karen Sinsheimer
Curator
Santa Barbara Museum of Art

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