Luca Campigotto: Nocturne at Laurence Miller Gallery

Art Scene

Luca Campigotto: Nocturne at Laurence Miller Gallery

Luca Campigotto’s large scale photographs of what he calls, “mythic cities,” are a stunning reminder of humanity’s imprint on Earth. In his exhibition Nocturne at Laurence Miller Gallery, their epic beauty spans millennia, with photographs of urban cities ranging from the ruins of Ancient Rome to the futuristic skyline of Shanghai.

Rome, 2014

Campigotto’s stylistic choice to make his photographs at night intentionally imbues the work with an air of mystery. The individual is purposefully minimized and unrecognizable in most of the images. Instead, viewers are treated to an awe-inspiring experience of collective Herculean efforts of engineering across cultures. Traces of daily human life can only be found through mental associations with universal human activities: random grid patterns of lights both on and off in towering skyscrapers and apartment complexes; blurred red taillights from traffic weaving through efficient, circular urban highway systems; or worshippers and tourists dwarfed in size by Jerusalem’s Western Wall.

Jerusalem, 2016

An electric energy permeates the work on view. It pulses with the vitality of city life, offering viewers a hassle-free view from Campigotto’s elevated vantage points. The artificial light that illuminates night time vision in most urban centers is exploited to maximum effect, offering a kaleidoscope of color that tantalizes the eye. Equally enticing is Campigotto’s treatment of the interplay of molecules in air scattering light waves from the atmosphere’s color spectrum. Both red skies from a dazzling sunset and the sensual beauty of twilight are present in the body of work.

Shanghai, 2016

The impact of architecture and its potential as a timeless marker of history becomes evident as one contemplates the exhibition as a whole. The intimate intricacies of individual lives and those of past civilizations is subtly at play in the work, a reminder of the fate of all humanity. The capacity for invention and creativity represented in the built environment of each city is also quite compelling. Shanghai, Milan, Brooklyn, Hong Kong, Beijing, San Francisco, Rome, Jerusalem, Manhattan and London are all featured.

Tower Bridge, London, 2014

One can only imagine what Campigotto might capture in images of cities not on view in Nocturne, or cities that are no longer inhabited, but just as mythic. Mexico City, Cairo, Peru’s Machu Picchu, or even Campigotto’s native city of Venice come to mind – all of which are captivating historical and/or contemporary centers of human activity, commerce and mystery.

Luca Campigotto: Nocturne at Laurence Miller Gallery is on view through February 24, 2018.