Marco Cali

My current interest is the moment when photography and painting first collided.

I am attracted by outline, form and the suggestion of depth. There are many aspects when looking at these very early images; the enigma of conflicting shadows cast naturally by the sun versus those imposed by flash photography or the way in which the photographer would often burn the tops of his images to obliterate unwanted elements, emphasize certain figures or create areas of brightness. A level of abstraction is introduced, something which is then extrapolated in experimentation with light and shadow. I deliberately retain these contradictory elements, to let the ensuing intrigue and implicit artistic and interpretative license become part of the final painting.

My choice of images goes further. I select ones that have some personal resonance to me. The current series is based on images from the Crimea War (1853-56), the first major conflict to be photographed. This war was a moment in time when the past crashed into the modern, when trench warfare, telegraphy and more professional armies in the contemporary sense were established. It was also a conflict of east and west, of empires over a Muslim nation, and of a nascent Italian national identity.

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Marco Cali