Intimate and Intense: Cathy Immordino

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Above, “Reflection” by Cathy Immordino.

A powerful and intimate photographic artist, Cathy Immordino tackles subjects that are profoundly global, relatable and moving. Her subjects are carefully and beautifully rendered in highly emotional works that touch on the environment, immigration, feminism, motherhood. In each of her series of works, Immordino’s message is passionately personal. And it is that deeply personal approach that creates work that feels so universal: if it matters to her, it matters to the viewer.

Whether it is a touching image of a young boy, sepia toned, with a downward gaze or the magical image of “The Portal,” in which a tabby cat is strolling toward what could be the entrance to another world – or the stairs to a busy outdoor space – Immordino’s gift is to capture the ordinary and give it an extraordinary spin.

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Her series Pilgrimage of Heritage delves into heritage, myth, family, story telling. Many of the pieces here have a dreamy, otherworldly quality, an element of magic as in the twinned images of “The Spirit Guide,” where a young boy points by a rocky arch on the left side of the work; on the right is an image of a grave. Many images here are digitally manipulated, some are photo montages. There is a sense of visual alchemy here.
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Above, “Spirit Guide”; below, “A Cry for Help.”
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A Cry for Help is an intensely moving black and white series about Immordino’s own experience with the fraught complications of her pregnancy. While images here may also be digitally enhanced, there is a raw, deep-seated emotion that is the core of this work.
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Her Festival of Lights series documents raves in a vibrant and abstract take that evokes the full, frenzied experience; while all the charm, poignancy, and vulnerability of childhood is on display in her beautiful, dusky series on her growing child, Tom Volume 1. The series is mostly sepia images, rich, timeless. 
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L.A. River goes blue and grey as it tackles the respect or lack of it for nature, the containment of the Los Angeles River, and the power of nature itself. This series of landscapes is infused with loneliness and limitation, and straining at the edges, the power and regeneration of a natural resource that could serve as a stand in for life itself.
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Below, right, the artist’s work at Photo LA.
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The artist is originally from Minneapolis, and her desire to create began with a gift of a Polaroid camera which she received when she was just five years old. The circumstances of the gift may have influenced her eye. She was recovering from a severe car accident – and today there is a certain aspect of healing and tenderness that is a marked part of her work. Whether that is a stretch or not, Immordino’s eye for the personal and compassionate developed early and remained with her through the realization of another creative aspiration, acting.
Having now moved from being in front of the camera to behind it in her professional life, Immordino has tackled a variety of subjects. Her first professional photo work documented the party scene and raves; today her focus is fine art photography.

 

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Now based in Los Angeles, Immordino’s work is exhibited nationally, with a current exhibition at the Hilyer Art Space in Washington, D.C.. Locally, in September, she’ll be exhibited at the Los Angeles Center for Photography; in October her work will be seen at the Long Beach Museum of Art.

“I started photographing to remember the world that exists at that particular time in my life…  Every picture I take I want the viewers to be moved to change the way they perceive the world around them,” she says. Working to capture her own unique point of view in every image, Immordino adds “Some images are photomontages, while others become prints made with alternative processes.”

However she shapes her images, both fierceness and devotion shine through her work. Viewers can see for themselves:

August 18-19 – Chocolate & Art Show at The Vortex, 2341 E. Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90021.

September 30 – “Fresh” exhibition at the Los Angeles Center of Photography.

October 6 – Port of Long Beach exhibition at the Long Beach Museum of Art.

  • Genie Davis; Photos provided by the artist