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John Carocci: The City is Art

Buffalo graphic artist, John Carocci is currently showing his gorgeous photographs in an exhibit at Rust Belt Books in Buffalo.  Although the title  of this story, “The CIty is Art”,  is mine, it is an apt description of how Mr. Carocci sees the world and how he portrays it in his work.  John is a graphic designer who grew up in Syracuse but has lived in Buffalo since 1990. As an amateur photographer with a love of urban places, from glass office towers to decaying relics of past glory, Buffalo has been a source of constant inspiration to him. “Photos of a city like Buffalo can have an ‘Instagram’ look to them, but we’re the real thing here,” says John. “I always find myself thinking about what this or that building was like in its heyday, about the people who lived or worked there, the legacy they’ve left for us, and what we can do with the gifts they gave us. Sometimes it’s really beautiful, and other times it’s just sad.”

His images, taken throughout Buffalo, typically  focus on the abstractions of shape, texture, color, and pattern found in within both the mundane and  extravagant architecture and urban fabric of the city.  He rarely shows a building, person, or thing in whole.  His emphasis on rich color and texture, works together with tightly cropped compositions to push us into seeing beauty where we don’t expect it. He shows us what we take for granted. For example, his image of the Central terminal, seen here,  is captured as a reflection in a puddle.  The rippling water surface  gives the building a crisp rendered appearance, as if it is a drawing which he contrasts against the reality of the surrounding drab pavement surface.  It is as if he is asking us to see dream versus  reality in one view.

John’s exhibit will be up at Rust Belt Books on Allen Street  near the corner of Elmwood through the end  July. You can get in touch with John at jcarocci@aol (dot) com

Written by David Steele

David Steele

Architect ( a real one, not just the armchair type), author of "Buffalo, Architecture in the American Forgotten Land" ( ), lover of great spaces, hater of sprawl and waste,
advocate for a better way of doing things.

View All Articles by David Steele
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