Paolo Morales is a photographer whose images have been published internationally as well as being held in multiple collections and showcased in a selection of exhibitions, including Detroit Center of Contemporary Photography, Kings Highway Library, and Pingyao International Photography Festival, to name just a few. Paolo’s latest exhibit is part of the Rhode Island School of Design 2015 MFA Graduate Show Six Degrees at Clampart in New York City. It is this photographic series titled ‘These Days I Feel Like a Snail Without a Shell’ by Paolo which really caught our eye due to its intelligently devised yet relaxed conviction.
‘These Days I Feel Like a Snail Without a Shell’ is shot in a documentary style which is a favoured technique of Paolo’s practice. The images are a product of observation and collaboration with people who ‘appear isolated despite physical proximity, yet seek out connection to others.’ With ‘physical touch as a sign of intimacy, affection and support’ Paolo’s work ‘suggests feelings of emotional dislocation in both urban and domestic settings.’ The subjects within his photographs all seem to have a desire to reach out and connect to others, extending their limits. As a result the subject connects with the viewer who wants to understand the backstory of the characters and interpret the emotions which Paolo captured.
The title of this series is based on an exchange within Haruki Murakami’s novel South of the Border, West of the Sun, where the dialogue between two characters leads to an honest exchange concluding “These days I feel like a snail without a shell”. The assertion of emotional instability presented in this extract, is a feeling or state of mind, and it is this which Paolo aims to project onto the people populating the pictures. The use of present tense and first person within the title also suggests the photographer is the character within the pictures in search of a place or feeling of safety.
Paolo Morales has taught at PhotoUno Photography School, Lesley University, and Rhode Island School of Design. Residencies include Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. He received a BFA from the Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University and an MFA in photography from Rhode Island School of Design.
If you want to see this collection up close then don’t miss the Rhode Island School of Design 2015 MFA Graduate Show at ClampArt, 531 West 25th Street, Ground Floor, New York City, 10001 opening Thursday June 25th 2015 and running until July 3rd 2015.