With the eye of a poet Mark Morelli walks the streets of Chelsea and with his camera captures the small details of life in the city. Each becomes a meditation and an appreciation of our collective existence.
A large selection of his photographs are now on display at Gallery 456 in the exhibit “Everyday Chelsea, Chelsea Everyday.”
For over 20 years Mark Morelli (https://www.instagram.com/morelliphoto/) has documented the urban landscape of his Chelsea neighborhood. He says, “For over twenty years Chelsea has been my home. It has also been my inspiration. On daily walks I view the city street by street, slowly observing the small, often overlooked, details that make Chelsea visually compelling. Houses, flags, window displays, graffiti, fences, religious symbols, buildings, murals, shopping carts, basketball hoops, bicycles, doors, chairs, discarded papers.”
The exhibit uses a large format digital display to bring his large portfolio to life. Tacked on the walls of the display, as a backdrop to the digital monitors and as a stand alone display, Morelli has created a large collage of these discarded papers. On one panel, a single monitor displays a slideshow while the monitor on another features short videos. In these a static camera views an animated object like falling snow on a city street, passing cars through a fogged store window, the flapping of loose plastic at a construction site.
While none of Morelli’s photographs include people but they’re full of life. The artist explains, “Each of these details is a small puzzle piece suggesting something larger; a mysterious world or a hidden story. These seemingly random fragments ultimately come together to document the rituals, activities and routines of everyday life. They are the pieces that define this unique place, creating a portrait of a city.”
The exhibit invites curiosity, encouraging us to inquire about the unseen people encountered in these images and ephemera.
The exhibit remains on display until late April. Gallery 456 is a storefront gallery with exhibits always visible from the sidewalk in front of 456 Broadway, Chelsea.
Gallery 456 is presented by Chelsea Prospers, the City of Chelsea’s downtown initiative for neighborhood vitality.