Michele Palazzo's New York

@STILL  |  From 29th November 2017 to January 12th, 2018  |  MILAN  |  ITALY

The gallery Still in Milan will host the first personal exhibition of the photographer Michele Palazzo. Curated by Denis Curti and Maria Vittoria Baravelli, the exhibition contains 20 representations of the New York melting pot.

Opening Night  /  Photos by Sofia Obracaj , Angelo Pepe and Francesca Magnani

The title of the exhibition is a direct reference to the young writings of Truman Capote (Where the World Begins), recently found at the New York Public Library. In few pages, you’ll find fragments of stories that project us into the life and emotions of unknown characters.
Likewise, Palazzo's photographs, which are unique and full of sensitivity, record these emotions and push us viewers to imagine and fantasize, with an empathic impulse, on the existential dynamics of New Yorkers. A woman weeps on the phone, a couple talk in the restaurant, a man looks at us through the subway car. It’s an exquisite and complex human mosaic that recomposes in the methodical and daily cataloging activities that Palazzo makes while using his camera.

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Rediscovered Horizons
Michele Palazzo's photography

by Denis Curti  /  October  2017

The path is recognizable and winds up between Soho and Time Square, perhaps even further in the southern part of the city. But it does not matter. Michele Palazzo’s vision resembles a straight line that has more to do with landscape rather than with architecture. The story rhythm is given by a precise grammar of the images. Clues and traces all around give life to a story of parallel stories. Cross-thoughts run without timeless order and without a precise plot, but simply the need to find oneself in the immediacy of the present. In short, Michele Palazzo's photographs take the place of words and thus form a concrete mosaic of feelings. His project is a track that develops with the harmony of shapes and lights encountered in daily and repeated revisions.
For many photographers New York is a continuous quote. On the contrary, the Big Apple is for Michele Palazzo an evanescent enigma. His description is essential, a sort of synthetic and surreal portrait escaping the oblivious styles of Street Photography. Short sequences show us faces and looks emerging strongly with deep blackness. The rest is enclosed within a continuous fade, capable of carrying the observer into the dimension of mental journey without targets, leaving room for illusions and memories.
The character of movie Smoke (directed by Wayne Wang and based on the story “Auggie Wren's Christmas tale” by Paul Auster) uses photography to defend himself from fear, thereby demonstrating its own existence. Michele Palazzo every day repeats an exact path to make sense of his inner map. He focuses on the urban landscape as an emblem of the exasperating individualism and of the soul-destroying dispersion of contemporary life; Michele gives to photography the legitimacy of human existence, defining it as the only instrument able to “visibly” solve the drama of an inconsistent existence.

FANZINE in limited edition 1 of 70

Alone in NY.jpeg
emerging from the dark.JPG

Where the World Begins

by Maria Vittoria Baravelli  /  November  2017

It always happened that, at a certain point, somebody would lift his head and see it […]
Then he would grind to a halt, exactly where he was, his heart beating fast and continually, and every damn time he would turn, I swear it, he would turn towards us, towards everybody, and he would cry out(softly and slowly): America!
(Alessandro Baricco, Novecento)

History tells us that America was discovered by Christopher Columbus in the year 1492.  But, at the end of the day, is it not perhaps more interesting to note that it is actually discovered by each one of us whenever we see it for the first time?

As Mario Soldati informs us - in his book – New York is "a first love".  Therefore, we can clearly perceive that, between our departure and our return, we seem to be different people who, in our own personal way, have been able to experience something highly exceptional. The excitement of this unique, free and magical city is found in novels, films, discs, works of art and, of course, in many photographs.

Between November 29th 2017 and January 12th 2018 the Still Gallery will host the first solo exhibition of the photographer Michele Palazzo. "Where the world begins.  Michele Palazzo's New York” is an exhibition that closes a significant year, in which this American city has been put under the spotlight in retrospectives such as "New York, New York. Italian Art", set up between the Gallerie d’Italia and Milan's Museo del Novecento, and "The Thousand Lights of New York", hosted at the Palazzo Zevallos Stigliano, in Naples, which has recently come to an end.

The 20 shots that are being presented are, in our opinion, the most iconic from this photographer from Ravenna who has been living and working in New York.  Their beauty is remarkable in terms of the feelings they exude; a heterogeneous population in the center of the world, over exposed, yet wrapped up in an uncleavable blanket of solitude.

The photographs appear like frames from a silent film on which, with garish colors, a strong sense of impossibility is counterpoised. For Michele, taking pictures turns the noise of the world down: he stops the city for a few seconds while it transforms from a crowded place into a realism that we can reflect on.  For a brief moment silence wins over the noise, which then starts up all over again.
The exhibition’s title is a cross-reference to the young writings of Truman Capote ("Where the World begins"), recently found at the New York Public Library.  This American writer is, in fact, well known to the general public for more than just his troubled life, but also for having disseminated, over his pages, the most celebrated of novels and fragments of stories that tirelessly project us into the lives and emotions of unknown characters, while making us feel they are members of our own family.

Likewise, Michele's photographs, unique and full of emotion, reorganize and record these emotions, while persuading us spectators to imagine and fantasize - with sympathetic enthusiasm - about the existential dynamics of New Yorkers. A woman is crying on the phone, a couple are in conversation in a restaurant, and a man looks at us through a subway carriage. This is an endless and complex human mosaic, which is recomposed through the photographer’s everyday commitment to cataloguing all human life in its own individual form. 

We look at his photos, and then we take another look.  We truly feel like someone who wants to reread a poem for the second time: a little to better understand it, and a little to find a part of ourselves amidst some of its lines.  We become one and the same with the photo as we relate ourselves to the characters.   

"There's too much condensation inside the metro carriage, maybe it's better to wait for the next one."  "The smell coming from Lupe's kitchen is unmistakable, I hope they will not overdo with the sauces."   "I love the light of NY in the summer, my client is late, it's hot, and this fan does not work particularly well!” 




From 29th November 2017 to January 12th, 2018
Still, Via Balilla 36, 20136 Milano

Opening  29th November at 6.30 PM

Mon - Fri 9am - 1pm | 2pm - 6pm
Sat - Sun only by appointment
+ 39 02 36744528