I'm a poet and photographer born and raised in the Pittsburgh area, a city of valleys and hills, a confluence of three rivers and our history's "Gateway to the West." It's a city with more public stairways than any other in the country. Pittsburgh's sensual terrain and cityscapes along with its steps inspired me to return to photography after many years. I had studied it at San Francisco State University and was a reporter and photojournalist in the Bay Area, employing traditional darkroom methods to develop film and make prints.
In 2016, I cofounded STEPPIN STANZAS, a poetry and art project celebrating city steps. I’m fascinated with writing poems and creating images of steps and stairways that feature a compelling pattern of the horizontal meeting the vertical, a spiritual journey to elevate ourselves, and a struggle to ascend the hierarchy in a stratified society.
My current body of work featured in my new book, VERTICAL BRIDGES: POEMS AND PHOTOGRAPHS OF CITY STEPS, is photographed and altered digitally. City steps and steps in the city. It includes black and white and color close-ups that draw attention to the structures themselves and their architectural beauty as well as landscapes that celebrate what I have come to see as vertical bridges to cross in my poetry and photography. As connections between hill and valley. Connections we make with each other. That middle ground where we meet.
As a member of the PARK SLOPE WINDSOR TERRACE ARTISTS COLLECTIVE, I have shown my work at libraries, art galleries, and open studios. I have also created a series of photo magnets and bookmarks of city steps available at select bookstores and gift shops.
Recently, I've been experimenting with collages of my city steps photographs that often include multiple frames of the same image along with geometric shapes to create a kaleidoscope of symmetrical patterns. See GALLERY.
Copyright © 2020 Paola Corso. All Rights Reserved.