Paola Di Bello’s most recent show in Milan consisted of two series of photographs: one recent, “Ora e qui, Milano” (Now and Here, Milan), 2016, and one spanning the past decade and a half, “Rear Window,”2000–16, created in New York. In both cases, images of the city, of urban landscapes, are shot from inside various apartments, looking out at streets and buildings, and in the case of Milan focusing on the Piazza del Duomo and the immediately adjacent streets. In both series, the views afford perfectly objective, realistic glimpses of the metropolises. What we see, however, looks far from real. While the artist leverages the specificity of her medium to present recognizable views of urban spaces, they feel alien because of her use of light, which always appears artificial and strange, with chromatic effects that at first seem inexplicable. But the explanation is simple enough: To
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