Sparky Campanella: horizon
A timely commentary on “borders”, “boundaries”, and “separation”, Sparky Campanella’s horizon series combines the natural world and human constructs with a geometric rigor that balances these two fundamentals. Each image is equally bifurcated into an upper and lower register, often with an expanse of organic nature on top and a barrier of man-made geometry below. The equal split in each image creates a fraternal horizon line, bringing the horizon’s calming power right to the viewer. Using a large format 4×5 film camera, Campanella is able to control the plane of focus in each image, allowing both foreground and background to be equally sharp. The resultant flattening of the photograph abstracts the scene away from a pre-conceived reality and towards his emotive intent. Campanella consistently succeeds in capturing brief moments of quiet revelation in his surrounding environment, turning banal urban landscapes into an iconic vocabulary of juxtapositions. Every photograph in horizon comes with an emotional impact that you feel in your gut. Yet there is a hint of logic in how both halves simultaneously oppose and complement one other, a realization that keeps you grounded and an attack of mild vertigo at bay.