Akron, Ohio, US
|Education||2004, MFA, Mason Gross School of Art, Rutgers University|
|Known for||Photography, Video Art|
|Awards||2006, Emerging Artist Award from the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, Connecticut, US|
Azzarella's work reflects on pivotal moments in history such as the torture of Iraqi POWs in Abu Ghraib and the protest of a single man in Tienanmen Square against a column of tanks. Azzarella reworks these canonical images to omit the tragic, negative, or most disturbing aspect of these images. For example, a photograph of a smiling Lynndie England pointing to a prisoner forced to masturbate is altered to only contain the smiling soldier. His photographs muddy the waters between the artificial beauty of a cinematic set and the inherent beauty of the natural landscape. Absent their most significant events, Azzarella’s images raise questions about how our society constructs a narrative of our collective history.
In 2011 Azzarella released Untitled #125 (Hickory), one of the longest running experimental films at 120 hours. Untitled #125 (Hickory) is an art work created between 2009-2011. The work is based upon the 6 minute and 30 second section in the film The Wizard of Oz, from the moment the viewer sees the tornado until Dorothy meets Glinda the Good Witch. This work extends a moment of transformative transition (Dorothy's journey to Oz) to envelop what the artist believes is the entire time of her experience.
The parenthetical reference refers to a deleted scene from the film where the farmhand, Hickory, is working on a machine to ward off tornados.
The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, CT.
The Akron Art Museum, OH.
San Jose Museum of Art, CA.
Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art, IN.
Zimmerli Museum of Fine Art at Rutgers University, NJ.
Montclair Art Museum, NJ.
- FOX News.com - New York Museum Cancels Terror Exhibition After Controversy 
- The Brooklyn Rail - Josh Azzarella and Fresh Kills 
- The New Yorker - Short List 
- Interview with the Artist