The rich, color photographs in Marisa Portolese's latest series, Antonia’s Garden, are exquisitely seductive. We are immediately inveigled by the lushness of the images; is it her subjects' gaze, their pose, or the evocative settings she chooses to photograph them in?
The work probes the fragility of life through the lens of family-related themes. Each photograph—with input from the artist's family—is staged as a formal portrait depicting a family dynamic, while the settings reference traditional portraiture, landscape and still life as underlying narrative.
Portolese's work has been exhibited widely in solo and group exhibitions throughout Canada, the U.S. and abroad. Her work is included in public and private collections around the world, including the permanent collections of The Musée Nationale Des Beaux-Arts du Québec and The Conseil des Art de Montréal.
Portolese holds a Masters of Fine Arts from Concordia University, which she earned in 2001. A frequent lecturer and visiting artist, she has received a number of honors, including grants and awards from the Conseil des Arts et Lettres du Québec, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Dumaurier Arts Council and Women in Photography, and has participated in Artist-in-Residency programs across Canada, the U.S. and Europe.