Still from 'Black Trip'

The Black Art of Aldo Tambellini

For all the attention directed, in the medium of film, at that which is unexposed (emphasized in the work of a cinematographer like Gordon Willis), few filmmakers seem to take it as seriously as Cambridge, Massachusetts artist Aldo Tambellini. So dedicated is he to building with and manipulating the black side of black-and-white, that he often forsakes the process of photography altogether, or at least gives it backseat status behind the tactile, solid, and confrontingly textural. To him, black is not blank, and it does not represent a world of shadows – it is, simply, a blotting-out of everything else, and in a series of maximalist, abstract films he did in the 1960s, he boils down images, materials, poetry, to their black cores, and then continues to boil them before our eyes. Far from dour, his reduction frees the media he brings in to implode visually, becoming loud and hyperkinetic collages that pop out with an unusual intensity and expansiveness. Read the rest of this entry »