Franc Palaia, "Overflow, Double Suitcase", 2006, suitcase, lightbox, transparency.

Franc Palaia, “Overflow, Double Suitcase”, 2006, suitcase, lightbox, transparency.

Franc Palaia

In 1990 I began a series of iconic lanterns, made from found and recycled objects which I used to house back-lit transparencies. The images either relate or contrast with their crates, suitcases, steamer-trunks, heating ducts, mirrors, auto parts, toys, lamps and kitchen appliances and the like. The containers emanate glowing images of volcanoes, fires, pollution, endangered animals, industrial parks and ruined architecture- together addressing environmental and political issues as well as communicating their state of hope and despair simultaneously.

Most recently I have begun to focus on panoramic images of Roman aqueducts, bridges, viaducts and urban landscapes. The work’s length emphasize the sense of travel and space from left to right, echoing the flow of either water, cars, trucks and trains. The illuminated suitcases comment on travel with a humorous twist. Usually when you travel the exotic scenery is found at your destination, but with my suitcase light boxes, the scenery and destinations are IN your luggage! You can literally take the scenery with you.

Franc Palaia (Poughkeepsie, NY) is a multi-media artist, curator, and educator whose work has been included in many solo and group exhibitions, including ones at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the New Museum, Exit Art, Jayne Baum Gallery, in NYC; the Hunterdon Museum of Art, Rutgers University, and Jersey City Museum, in NJ; and the Smithsonian Institute. In 2011, he will be included in a survey exhibition of American Prints at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC. Palaia has exhibited extensively throughout the region including shows at the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, Vassar College, BAU Gallery in Beacon, Highland Cultural Center, Albert Shahinian Fine Art, Carrie Haddad Gallery, the Albany International Airport Gallery, and the Barrett Art Center amongst others. He has received various grants and residencies including the Rome Prize Fellowship, a Polaroid Sponsorship, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts fellowship, and two Dutchess County Arts Council grants. His works has also been featured in many publications including The New York Times, The New Yorker, Tema Celesta, Village Voice, Art in America, Poughkeepsie Journal, Chronogram, Pulse Magazine, and Hudson Valley Magazine. Palaia’s artwork is included in the various collections including those of the Museum of Fine Art, Houston, TX; the Polaroid Corporation; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; the Norton Museum of Art, Miami, FL; and the Zimmerli Museum of Art at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, amongst others.

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