Photographer Scott Alario set out to create a fantasy land for his daughter in his lush, black and white photos. Now nearly six-years-old, she’s calling the shots, and pushing his work in the direction of a dreamy documentary of family and fatherhood.
By collapsing cosmology onto intimate moments with his wife and daughter, our next featured artist creates images that suggest the esoteric spirituality present in family life. Using a large format camera to create his atavistic photographs, Alario says that “We are on a search for the spiritually significant, the magic in every day. What will we find that’s worth passing down? What will we conjure?”
Alario received an MFA in photography from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2013, and a BFA from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in 2006. He was named a 2011 emerging photographer by Art New England, and received a 2012 Fellowship Merit Award from the Rhode Island State Council of the Arts. Alario lives and works in Providence, Rhode Island.
Tonight in NYC: Scott Alario's What We Conjure Opening
Scott Alario is a photographer based between Providence, RI and Alfred, NY. In his series What We Conjure, Alario uses black and white film and a large format camera to picture his wife and children as the cast of a mystical and elegant play. Tonight, Alario’s first solo show in New York opens at Kristen Lorello Gallery on the Lower East Side. We talked about what it means to use your family as subjects, other photographers who have done this, and selling personal photographs as a commodity in the art market.
VICE: Let’s talk about your show. It’s at Kristen Lorello Gallery, which is a place I’ve never heard of.Scott Alario: The gallery just opened. It’s had one other show, it opened in April and I’m the second show. The owner, Kristen, worked at a bunch of different galleries before starting her own, and she’s well versed in painting and sculpture. It’s interesting to talk to her about photography.
I think it’s good for photographers to be in a gallery that shows painters and sculptors, too. I mean it’s cool that there are photography galleries, but I think it’s better for everything to be together. You teach photography at Alfred University?
Yeah, but that’s another multidisciplinary place because there aren’t majors, or defined specific majors, it’s like everyone’s just doing whatever they want.
Does your family come to Alfred with you when you teach there?
Yeah, they’re there with me hangin’ out. And my daughter’s five and a half and she’s going to school. And we just had a baby in October.
Aviary Gallery is pleased to present Star/Fruit. Star/Fruit is a two person collaborative exhibition of new photographic work by Harry Gould Harvey IV and Scott Alario.
Recently married, Harvey self-published the book Canadian Fruit, a collection of portraits and still lives surrounding his honeymoon. The exhibition pairs work from Harvey’s book with Alario’s images of his own wife, Marguerite, made over the course of their ten years thus far. Interspersed, and framed similarly, the lines between the true narratives are blurred. The show sets portraits against strange still lives and other abstractions, to create a visual tension akin to that which exists within relationships. Having no shortage of images of their better halves, the two used the collaborative show as a way to pay homage, and give thanks to their muses. And although it’s an old trope in photography’s history, with countless precedents that both artists would list as inspirational, the weaving of their two stories arrives at something fresh- and it’s as simple, or perhaps as complex, as love itself.
I would love for anyone in the Boston area to come out!
What I Am Up To (Reviewing Scott Alario @ Kristen Lorello on Searching for the Light, “Scott Alario’s work makes me very happy. As I get older and remain single, more and more people I know are pairing off and starting families. Some of these people I don’t see all that much anymore or when I do it generally involves activities that focus on small children, which is fine, but kids do seem like a lot of work. I can’t help but wonder if I could be a parent and still do a lot of what I’ve built my life around. I am sure the lack of time to make art, or write about art, would be balanced out emotionally with the amazingly enriching experience of the love of a child and all, but a part of me worries that I would miss my current life. It is very comforting to see parenting as reflected in Alario’s work, where the world seems to have been turned into a more magical place.”)