Bryan Martello

Bryan Martello (b. 1988) grew up in Franklin, Massachusetts. Inspired by the dark and unresolved, he uses multiple photographic images to create open-ended narratives. Martello graduated from Massachusetts College of Art with a degree in Photography in 2010, where he earned departmental honors. His recent work as a tour guide in the lava caves of Iceland has served as a backdrop for much of his recent work. Martello lives and works in Boston.


Throughout my whole life, stories that are cryptic and dark have fascinated me. When I was young, I found myself drawn to fairytales and mythology which led me creating my own fables. As I grew older, I became interested in films, particularly in the horror genre. The ones that stood out most for me were those that left much unresolved; nothing seemed scarier than the unknown. I was deeply inspired by the idea that a series of images could have such a profound elemental effect on a person. This visceral, visually induced fear of the unknown has stayed with me and guided me through the process of telling my own stories through photography.

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Making multiple image pieces is integral to my work. I see the individual images as fragments of my subconscious and the installation is an opportunity to put these fragments back together in a new context. Photographing with a 4×5 view camera allows me to see details of objects as abstract forms, helping me make visual connections between images. Through this process, I am able to create subtle and openended narratives and activate a tension in a particular space. Simple emotions are magnified, the concrete becomes inexplicable, the mundane appears magical. Everything is implied, nothing is clearly resolved.
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