For many of us, the tragic event at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris served as a stark reminder of how fragile and delicate the remnants of our human past can be. Whether globally historic or personally sentimental, we are all connected to the past. It helps give meaning to the present, and invariably helps to shape the future. With this in mind, I feel it timely to introduce fine art photographer Lisa Folino.
Born and raised in Southern California, Folino’s passion for photography started at a very early age under the tutelage of her father, Sal Folino, a TV camera pioneer and seven-time Emmy Award winner. She further credits her expansive knowledge of photography to the years she studied at the New School of Photography, Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, CA. Her work has been exhibited in galleries throughout the US and Europe.
With many personal and professional projects to her credit, Folino feels the strongest emotional connection to a recent personal series. Merging vintage family photographs with her own 35mm film work, Folino explores loss, memories, history and time in her series titled "Arrow of Time". Folino began this powerful work as a way to deal with the loss of a parent, and in doing so she discovered the past is never dead, and “that in some way we all carry the past into our present, as well as the future.”
Dealing with the loss of a loved one is never easy. For Folino, the loss of her mother, her best friend, was, as expected, a monumentally difficult time in her life. As the one-year anniversary of her mother’s death approached, Folino still found herself struggling with the loss. We all have our coping mechanisms for stressful events, and Lisa’s has always been art.
She set out on a journey to merge vintage family photographs with her own work shot on film using classic Nikon F series cameras. Using Photoshop to simulate the double exposures, Folino has created truly compelling composite images that force the viewer to reflect thoughtfully without even knowing any of the personal back-story.
Taking on an almost Dali-esque modernism, the stunning B&W series exemplifies what “fine art” photography can mean at its most poignant. Exalted by her personal connection to the work, and tinged by her bittersweet loss, Folino takes the art form she inherited from her father and marries it to the special relationships she shared with her family to create something otherworldly.
Clearly, Folino’s past and family heritage have indelibly shaped this work. From loss, she has created something new allowing for a rebirth of sorts by way of art. Interestingly, the magnificent Notre-Dame de Paris was itself built upon the ruins of two older Roman temples of Jupiter, the Merovingian Church of St Etienne and the Carolingian Cathedral of Ste. Marie.
While loss is painful, the history of human progress has consistently benefited from the fruits of our loss. With "Arrow of Time", Lisa Folino gives us an intimate example to appreciate. You can view more of Lisa Folino's profound work at LisaFolino.com and on Instagram @LisaFolinoArt.
All images used with permission from Lisa Folino.