Andrea Modica : Evocative narratives – underneath the black cloth

Andrea Modica was born in New York City and lives in Philadelphia, where she works as a photographer and teaches at Drexel University & the International Center of Photography. She is a Guggenheim Fellow, a Fulbright Scholar and a Knight Award recipient.

Andrea is a master photographer, with projects that explore all aspects of the photo terrain, including landscape, still life, even baseball, but her elegant and sensitive portraiture, captured with the slowed down methodology of large format, created as platinum prints, have an exquisite language and beauty that sets her work apart.

The subjects in Andrea’s photographs are tangled in a brilliantly organized web of focus shifting, obscured and stretched elements and open-ended narratives where fact and fiction collide and blur. The full activity of every frame is never entirely revealed, but it is never completely concealed either. It all feels buried in the multiple layers and tones of the images that Modica produces. This makes the us actively trying to grasp and understand what we sees through those layers in order to demystify this ominous veil of meanings and juxtapositions that the artist creates so beautifully. The fact that Modica’s work is about subjects that are both familiar and unfamiliar to her shows the fragile balance between uncertainty and caution, anticipation and hope in her work. It is this masterful ability to pull the viewer closer while creating this ambiguous tension in her work that distinguishes her.

Modica’s corpus brings us to a place where things are slightly askew, never really acknowledging what is and what is not. What’s presented to us leaves a certain impression of “déjà-vu” and yet can’t help us question the deeply intimate and mysterious elements of her work that aren’t quite disclosed. Modica creates images that reaches into our own fragility. The result of her approach to portrait and photography is one that is unique, unsettling and timeless, with a ghostly aura Modica’s platinum imagery will continue to fascinates for generations to come.

Modica’s photographs have been featured in many publications, including the New York Times Magazine, the New Yorker, Newsweek and American Photo. Her books include Treadwell, Barbara, Minor League, Human Being, Fountain, As We Wait, January 1 and most recently, Lentini.

Modica has exhibited extensively and has had solo exhibitions at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art and the San Diego Museum of Photographic Arts.

Her photographs are part of the permanent collections of numerous institutions, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Brooklyn Museum, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Smithsonian, the International Museum of Photography and Film at the George Eastman House, and the Bibliotheque Nationale.

All of Modica’s photographs are made with an 8X10” view camera using Kodak Tri-x film. All platinum prints* are produced, utilizing the non-silver,19th century hand-coated platinum process, proven to be unequivocally archival, rich and beautiful.
Each print is made manually by Andrea in a dimly lit room, from an 8×10 negative, using the same chemistry that was used in the 1800’s.

*Platinum prints have an estimate life span of a 1000 years