Scenes from a Childhood, the debut book by photographer Michael Massaia, is a collection of images revealing symbols of childhood joy and adventure through the nostalgic longing of adulthood. Massaia’s captivatingly beautiful photographs are whimsical while edifying subjects that are disappearing, some quite literally, from childhood today. Scenes from a Childhood includes four of Massaia’s photographic series: Afterlife, documenting vacant amusements of the Jersey Shore and what remained following Hurricane Sunday; Saudade, portraits of pinball machines at New Jersey’s last remaining arcades; Quiet Now, still lifes with Fourth of July fireworks; and Transmogrify, abstractions of melting ice cream pops. With each of the series, Massaia asks viewers to recall the magic of our own youth and ponder how it shaped us as adults.
One does not often meet a photographer so prolific and dedicated to the perfection of his craft as Michael Massaia. As Julie Grahame writes in her essay. “He is propelled forwards at all times. He is driven to create, if he does not create he will probably disappear.” Artists creating conceptual works so really pursue technical perfection so wholeheartedly. Massaia values the importance of being the sole craftsman os artworks, and through sophisticated proprietary methods working with large format cares, in the darkroom, and digitally he chases the visions in his imagination. As a result his photographs are otherworldly in their perfection.