Luis Mallo

Luis Mallo


August 30 – October 11, 1998

Now consider what would happen if their release from the chains and the healing of their unwisdom should come about in this way. Suppose one of them set free and forced suddenly to stand up, turn his head, and walk with eyes lifted to the light; all these movements would be painful, and he would be too dazzled to make out the objects whose shadows he had been used to see. What do you think he would say, if someone told him that what he had formerly seen was meaningless illusion, but now, being somewhat nearer to reality and turned towards more real objects, he was getting a truer view? Suppose further that he were shown the various objects being carried by and were made to say, in reply to questions, what each of them was. Would he not be perplexed and believe the objects now shown him to be not so real as what he formerly saw?

– Plato, The Republic.

Reliquiarium is a series of new black-and-white photographs which radically distort the actual arrangement of interior space. Mallo brings a religious quality to his work. There is such deep regard for the darkness and light, shadow and substance. By throwing backgrounds and surroundings into limbo by shooting into a hand held mirror and by directing our attention to an object- or relic, Mallo brings us to some visual sanctuary. Here we might consider our way of seeing. Is it real or true? Is this a mirage or vision? We see the illusion and the elusive. These images seem imagined, but they are photographs – so they must be real.

Luis Mallo has been exhibiting since the late 1980’s at venues like Ricco/Marseca Gallery, NYC; Houston Center for Photography, TX; and at The Museum of Fine Art, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Luis received his degree in Graphic Design from the Fashion Institute of Technology, (FIT), NYC, in 1986.