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1500 Jackson St. NE #443 Minneapolis, MN 55413 | Phone: 612.788.1790 | icebox@bitstream.net
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Icebox Gallery presents:

Route Eight-O-Nine by Italian Photographer Umberto Stefanelli

This is the U.S. debut exhibit of Umberto Stefanellis new work. Route Eight-O-Nine are made from a collage of Chinese bank notes and Polaroid emulsion transfers that are photographed as a whole, and then digitally printed in limited edition. This work blurs the lines between collage and photography and original and copy. Route Eight-O-Nine is not an actual place found on a Google map; this is a personal place within the artists imagination, a place for creative departure on pathways crisscrossed and full of the personal histories and encounters acquired along the journey of his life. The name Eight-O-Nine is derived from Umberto Stefanellis long time use of the now extinct Polaroid 809 film.

Umberto Stefanellis artwork begins with 8x10 Polaroid film of a close-up image of Mao Tse-Tung acquired from Chinese currency and then transferring the images to paper. Stefanelli separates the gelatin layer of the film and adheres it to fine art paper to create each collage. The Polaroid image is very thin and transparent allowing the other elements, in this case, real currency, to be visible through the film layers and tiny wrinkles that appear to be three-dimensional. In May 2008 the original 8 collaged pieces were shown in Shanghai, China and all sold to one collector. The Icebox Gallery exhibit features the Umberto Stefanelli edition of Digigraphie Prints. The name Digigraphie is a quality issue of limited edition prints from Epson.

The iconic image of Mao Tse-Tung and Chinese currency seem appropriate to be contemplated at this time in world history. In Umberto Stefanellis collage work the use of currency assumes another purpose as an aesthetic element of his art. The bank note itself is photographed as if it is a landscape or location isolating and appropriating the Mao Tse-Tung portrait. The photographic image of Mao‘s face is enlarged and applied over the currency. The color scheme of the differing denomination dictates the look of each work of artwork.

Umberto Stefanelli is an Italian photographer who developed his artistic skills in New York, where he lived for several years. Since that time he has traveled extensively and discovered new inspirations in Japan & China. Umberto Steffanelli has exhibited and published in Europe, USA, China and Japan. Projects include work with: Polaroid, Levis, LOREAL, Nokia, Epson, Grey Group, Young & Rubicam, Nippon TV, ZOOM Magazine. His work is included in the Polaroid Collection, in the Brescia National Museum of Photography in Italy, in the Lishui Museum of Photography in China and in other public and private collections.

Title: Route Eight-O-Nine, Polaroid Transfer Collage by Umberto Stefanelli
Opening: 7 PM ~ 11 PM Saturday, February 6th, 2010 exhibited through Saturday, May 1.

Image of Howard M. Christopherson

  HOURS: Tues. - Fri. - 10 to 6, Saturday - 12 to 5, First Thursday's until 9pm