by Roman Espejo
Olivo Barbieri's aerial photographs trick the eyes by scaling skyscrapers, historic sites, and famed destinations down to model-size minutiae. For his latest exhibition, "Site Specific_New York City O7," the Italian photographer turned his camera on the Flatiron District, Central Park's Sheep Meadow, Coney Island, and other urban locations. The pictures' tiny, finely rendered features are worthy of blue ribbon-winning dioramas, where real-life automobiles and sunbathers shrink to toy-like objects.
Using a tilt-shift lens with a large-format camera, Barbieri skews the scale and perspective of landscapes with a shallow depth of field. This technique, called selected focus, deliberately blurs some areas of the photograph, producing a macro effect. Barbieri launched his "Site Specific" series of still images and films in 2003, shooting Rome, Shanghai, and Las Vegas. He also photographed some of the world's largest waterfalls the same way for "The Waterfall Project."
The series reveals Barbieri's talents for distorting and recreating familiar landscapes. "Site Specific_New York City 07" runs 15 April-28 May, 2010 at the Yancey Richardson Gallery.