Photographer and painter Maria Passarotti graduated in 2000 with a BFA from the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, NY. Her work has been exhibited in galleries in NYC, Brooklyn and Vancouver, British Columbia, and resides in dozens of private collections. She is a member of the womens photography collective, Nymphoto. She lives and works in Tappan, NY.

Her most recent photographs are inspired by the intersection of nature and humanity. Passarotti uncovers beauty in the most mundane of scenes. Nearly always absent of people, Passarotti's photographs evoke a haunting human presence through details such as electrical wires, roads and hints of domestic life. Having grown up in suburban Cresskill, NJ, Passarotti has always sought moments to freeze to define endless stretches of asphalt, vast parking lots and suburban backyards.


In the Night
"O wild and wondrous midnight,
There is a might in thee
To make the charmed body
Almost like spirit be,
And give it some faint glimpses
Of immortality."
    -James Russell Lowell, Midnight

I am drawn to the night landscape, with its delicately illuminated scenes emerging from the darkness...its solitude, its peace and its mystery. In the Night began as an exploration of night scenes in the New York City area, with a particular focus on alleyways, dead-ends, parking lots and "roads less traveled". As my subject matter shifted from my prior focus on rooftops and larger scale vistas to store fronts and alleyways, my images, once desolate but charged with life, now craved figures to inhabit them. I began photographing pedestrians, posing actors and inserting myself into the scenes I created, experiencing and interacting with the space as I photographed it. In the resulting images, the figures' subtle gestures and blurred movements upon carefully composed backdrops provide hints to a larger narrative the viewer is invited to imagine. The common alleyways and street corners depicted are transformed into elaborate stage sets gracefully illuminated by the glow of headlights and draped in lacey night shadows. The resulting photographs are documents of the actors' performances that transcend the time and place each photograph depicts and become a realization of a preconceived artistic vision.
Urban & Rural Landscapes
I have always been intrigued by the intersection of man and nature. Growing up in suburbia, I became aware of the imprint individuals leave on their land, nature's undeniable presence, as well as the abundance of iconic architectural elements that fill our landscape. As an artist, I've turned to the urban, suburban and rural landscapes as my subject and inspiration.

Using photography as a medium I try not to document the landscape but to create magical interpretations of everyday, mundane spaces. I look for beauty and metaphor in the combination of man-made and natural materials seeking images where these elements peacefully coexist or one aggressively dominates the other. I observe how man interacts with, experiences and manipulates nature through such themes as recreation, agriculture, ecotourism, development, energy extraction and decorative landscaping.

A tension is created by the absence of people in many of the images, since there is an undeniable human presence within each landscape often creating a staged feeling where something is about to, or has just taken place. The reoccurring subjects of trees, dwellings, roads, artificial lighting and electrical wires become symbols used to show man's presence on the Earth.