Pictura Gallery

Scott Alario & Ayumi Tanaka

Fables & Fictions

Scott Alario | Our Fable

Ayumi Tanaka | Follow the Moon and Silhouette

Scott Alario earned a BFA from the Massachusetts College of Art and is currently working on an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design (expected 2013).Alario’s work has been shown in institutions around New England and in Reykjavik, Iceland. He was also selected for inclusion in “Exposure: 7 Emerging Photographers,” published in the November/December 2011 issue of Art New England.He lives and works in Providence, Rhode Island.

Our Fable | Artist Statement

I’m in the process of building a folk tale for my daughter. It is a paternal inevitability to make up stories for one’s children, and for me, doing so has recently become the passion in my creative practice.There are two photographs I remember from my childhood that play directly into this work. The first is a studio portrait of my father’s mother, made immediately before leaving Italy to immigrate to the United States. We would call the photograph the “gypsy picture” while I was growing up, and in doing so the image has taken on a magic, epic role. In the picture, my grandmother stands stoic as an eight year old. Her timeless eyes represent so much to me. In her face is the face of the 100-year-old woman I know now and it’s the face of my daughter. It is one of wisdom and will, and it fills me with awe.The second picture that I carry in my mind is a portrait of a Sami family, reindeer herders of northern Scandinavia. Magic flows out of this image, too. It comes from my mother’s mom, whose Norwegian bloodline is only fictitiously connected to the Sami. Although I imagine being related to these people, the image hangs in the house like an offering to our ancestry. I see the face of my late uncle in the proud, piped and weathered hero of the portrait. Having a child has made me think about the importance of cultural myths and ideas of ancestral wisdom. In my baby I can see our connection to the past, as well as the potential to leave bits of ourselves to posterity.My recent work deals with my fear of failing as a father, and attempts to make something of the successful moments. I use photography to engage my daughter. Together we construct images, she leads at times, and at others I beg her to stay still. She has become, simultaneously, the impetus, a participant, and the audience. Ideas for pictures come through play; dressing in costumes we make, becoming characters, going back into nature, erecting forts, and telling stories. Inspired by those two relic-like portraits, and driven by a deep love, these images are a collaboration with my whole family through time.

Ayumi Tanaka is a Japanese-born artist, living and working in New York City. She earned a BFA in 2002 from Osaka University of Arts in Japan, and studied at the International Center of Photography in New York City in 2010.Tanaka’s work has been presented internationally at exhibitions including ITEZA Sculpture Gallery, Kyoto, Japan; Printz Gallery, Kyoto, Japan; and the 2010 Pingyao International Photography Festival in China. In 2011, she exhibited work at Sotiri International Prize Exhibition in Albania, Foto/Pods at the DUMBO Arts Festival in New York City, and 25CPW Red Roots Gallery in New York City. She has been invited to present her latest work at LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph 2012 in Charlottesville, VA.

Follow the Moon and Silhouette | Artist Statement

“A rabbit from the moon said, “I left all the flowers at my home. All I can do is just view my home from an island so far away. I wish I could give water to my dried flowers again.” — excerpt from a child’s fairy taleBy creating a theater of my own original fairy tales within three-dimensional dioramas, I try to craft narrative landscapes by layering fragments of memories and symbols. The stories are created based on personal experiences. I assemble collage components from original imagery, found photographs (such as from family albums), commercial images from the Internet, and shadow images I have crafted from paper-cutouts. By creating fairy tales, I confront the mystery of symbols in photographs. I play riddles involving characters who inhabit the world that lies within fragments of time, and I try to communicate with their memories.

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