© Amy Montali, Martin, Palmer and Nora, 2003

© Amy Montali, Erin in the blue room, 2004

“These portraits and narrative fragments are produced with a large-format view camera, which requires a slow and formal approach. However, I try to shoot spontaneously as though I am on the street or at a birthday party. I like to fuse the seductive power of studio photography with the energy and emotion of a snapshot.

The work is often collaborative and always improvisational. I choreograph scenes of varying complexity in order to explore real and fictitious relationships and to consider such subtexts as rivalry, desire, guilt, and redemption. I use the colors and shapes of my locations to illuminate and intensify, or invent, psychological states. Then, I wait for the picture.

The camera allows me to stare. In some ways content is secondary to my obsession with photography itself. I am particularly interested in how photography seduces its participants, including me, and how its power differs from that of painting, theater, or film.”

Amy Montali

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