Alumnus Matthew Morrocco '15 in Solo Exhibit

BY Audrey Deng, September 11, 2019

Orchid.Summer, a new series of photographs by alumnus Matthew Morrocco ’15 on view at the Olympia Project from August 22 to September 21

Orchid.Summer, a new series of photographs by alumnus Matthew Morrocco ’15 is on view at the Olympia Project from August 22 to September 21. 


Orchid.Summer is a visual odyssey following a lone figure dressed in yellow through a series of stretching landscapes. Encountering this yellow figure for the first time, is, as the Olympia Project describes, “pleasant.” However, upon second viewing, the yellow figure “seems to smear the landscape with its stark, colorful, and compositionally averse fury. The figure does not fit into the landscape but rather stands outside, as if contemplating the twilight years of the earth as we know it.” 


Morrocco is well-known for his portraiture photography and his sensibilities as a highly self-aware portraiture photographer. In an interview with Italian Vogue last year, he stated, “Photographs are not just viewing scenes and taking away trophies. Although, in some ways that is true, what’s more real is that photographers instigate or intuit a scene before it happens, they are implicated and part of the content of their work.”


After graduating with a BA in Photography and critical theory from NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study, Morrocco went on to Columbia University to receive his MFA. His career in photography, however, began long before New York. Morrocco’s interest in photography began in 2009, when Morrocco was studying Chinese in Beijing. Wandering there, says Morrocco, sparked his interest in photography. “I went to a popular marketplace called Wangfujing where I found a twin lens reflex camera that I bought for $20. I wasn’t sure if it worked but I wandered around Beijing taking pictures with it and actually ended up using that camera for most of my early work, Complicit. I chose photography as my main medium because it was the easiest way to explore content that excited me. It has become so essential to the way people communicate these days.”


Morrocco’s aforementioned book Complicit, published last year by Matte Editions, was described by Artnews as “evok[ing] associations with Katy Grannan, Nan Goldin, and Wolfgang Tillmans, but they have a maturity, grace, sophistication, and innocence entirely their own.”


Orchid.Summer is showing at The Garage @ 87 Grand Street, Brooklyn.