Sunday, December 20, 2009

Artist of the week: Stefanie Fiore

Bedroom, 2009, Chromogenic print 24x30"

Fiore, 2009, Chromogenic print 24x30"

I should begin by stating that words will fail to describe my love for these amazingly beautifully rendered images by Stefanie Fiore. Her photographs, all from her series entitled "A New Home," evoke so many emotions in me as they are "aiming to distill the richness of the surface and investigate a hybrid culture. Through reinterpreting historic and culturally specific patterns, motifs and architecture, these Italian-Canadian families are creating an environment of ersatz, using local materials and notions of the baroque to create replicas and pastiche resembling their homeland. Therefore, referencing the rich cultural history of their homeland in a country in which they have no history. (. . .) The homes I am photographing are more like museums or palaces than domestic dwellings."

Growing up, the upstairs bedroom in my Nonni's home was off-limits, which made the space even more compelling. Yet whenever I did sneak a peak, I always felt like I had walked into a "time-warp" that chronicled the very genesis of my family's arrival in Canada. The bedroom has and continues to have a "museum" like quality - where it felt more like a staged room than one that was ever inhabited by my father. My Nonni's home has always captivated my imagination. Why these artifacts? Why arranged in such a manner? Why kept for all these years?

While my own personal style is diametrically opposed to such "ornate" spaces, Fiore's photographs elucidates their beauty, and perhaps reveals even a little of their hidden secrets.

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