As part of his Deep in A Dream–Central Park series, fine art photographer Michael Massaia shot these dreamlike images of the arches and tunnels scattered across the park. The toned gelatin silver contact prints in gold, selenium, and sepia gives the images a certain warmth and makes the tunnels rather inviting.
“The arches and tunnels that are scattered across Central Park have acted as a shelter for me over the past 10 years while working on my Deep In A Dream–Central Park series. I would take apart my cameras, wait for the light to cooperate, and seek shelter from inclement weather in them. These arches and tunnels have become like homes, and have always given me the second wind to head back out into those late lonely nights and early mornings.”
A master of the traditional gelatin silver printing process, self-taught photographer Michael Massaia creates exquisitely luminous black-and-white images of the city in moments of quietude. An insomniac, Massaia began taking large-format photographs on long, nighttime walks around his native New Jersey and became fascinated by the ghostly quality of metropolitan spaces devoid of people, leading him to build up a body of work that explores public places at night, as their patrons sleep.
In his “Deep in a Dream” series, Massaia turned his lens toward the typically bustling Central Park in a state of early morning repose. “Capturing the park between the hours of 2am and 6am was my attempt to capture the city in its most haunting, desolate, and inviting moments,” Massaia says. The tonally rich images, which recall the photographs of Hiroshi Sugimoto or Brett Weston, express the sometimes otherworldly, isolating experiences of urban life.