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Ray Carofano makes hauntingly beautiful photographs. He presents us with a world in which he finds equal strengths of desolation and awe. While grounded in the familiar language of landscape - gnarled trees, seared desert sands, and in dramatic studio portraiture, he leads us into a distant metaphoric realm. In this world, the light is transcendent, falling from no apparent source, but rather, imbued by Carofano, himself. Through the combination of long-practiced darkroom alchemy and highly individualized vision, his subjects emerge, seeming to exude a life of their own. The brooding images, in rich blacks and creamy whites, (split-tone gelatin silver prints) evoke a certain apprehensive contemplation.

Expression, not social commentary, is the foundation of Ray Carofano’s art. Haling from a childhood of long days spent wandering in the woods of rural Connecticut, he says, "I relive that experience, and when looking through the viewfinder, I try to get that feeling of a strange and mysterious landscape… which allows the viewer to sense what I felt."



The TwoTree
s
toned gelatin silver print
Hiigh Tension #19
toned gelatin
silver print

In the foreboding quiet of a bucolic landscape, high tension wires criss-cross, and the hand of man is apparent in all of its grand capacity for creation and destruction. Carofano’s photographs chart the territory of emotion and memory. Traversing both personal and cultural association, his work is lush with a sense of deep time, erosion, passage and renewal. The visionary edges of his world bleed and blur as he takes these abstract concepts and literally allows them to isolate and light the subjects he is drawn to. The resultant images in his extraordinary prints, are both physical and poetic, at once apocalyptic and serene and they are simply never mundane.
Ray Carafano is represented by Couturier Gallery in Los Angeles.

SUSANNA MEIERS
Curator El Camino College Art Gallery

click on pictures to enlarge


Light Rays & Tree

toned gelatin silver print


Transformation

toned gelatin silver print


Palm Roots
toned gelatin silver print

Gangly Tree #2
toned gelatin silver print

Architectual Abstract #4
toned gelatin silver print

Man in Fog
toned gelatin silver print

 


Averill Park #19
toned gelatin silver print

click on pictures to enlarge

Stairs to noWhere
toned gelatin silver print
Visit www.carofano.com to view more artwork


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 Last Updated On: 1/13/06