PDN Photo of the Day

Andrea Modica’s Platinum Palladium Intuition

The subjects that interest Andrea Modica can be startlingly diverse. “Treadwell” followed the life of an impoverished family in Upstate New York and starred Barbara, a child who grew up in front of Modica’s camera and died young of childhood onset diabetes. “Human Beings” documented skulls that were discovered buried on the grounds of a Colorado mental health facility. “Minor League” looked at The Oneonta Yankees, an Upstate baseball team she photographed in the 1990s (before they relocated to Connecticut). More recently Modica has been photographing in Italy, using her usual 8×10 inch view camera to make rich platinum palladium prints of best friends and horse hospitals. “I work intuitively,” Modica has said in an interview. “I rarely know why I need to photograph something or somebody when I begin a project – often it’s a matter of proximity or availability.”

Extended Moments,” a selection of close to 30 photographs, many from Italy, is on view at the Akron Art Museum until February 21; a book of previously unpublished work from throughout her career, As We Wait, with text by Larry Fink, was recently published by L’Artiere. Thoughtful and direct, the result of careful observation and a disarming curiosity, her pictures of sometimes dark subjects add up to more than the sum of their parts. “Surprisingly from time to time, there is an innocence which floats to the surface of your heart,” writes Fink about her work. “Not exactly an unintended guest at the table, but a delightful one and one which holds the work in some balance, informing us that within the deep concerns of mortality there is a bubbling assortment of impulses that allows life to be felt as whole.”

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Andrea Modica: Minor League

End Frame: Michelle Dunn Marsh on Larry Fink’s Social Graces (For PDN subscribers; Log in required)

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