Born in 1990 in Lille (French Flanders), Massao Mascaro currently lives in Brussels. He graduated in 2013 with a Bachelor in photography at the Brussel’s school Le Septante-cinq and with a Master Course in Photography at BlankPaper Escuela in Madrid. Since 2019, Massao is teaching in the photography department of Brussels Fine Arts Academy ESA-ARBA.
Massao’s work is always a delicate balance between autobiography, topography and politics, and as such it is a good starting point for a novel form of poetry. Ramo was his first foray into his peculiar mix of documentary and poetry, Jardin the conscious application of a mature visual form of expression and in Sub Sole, using the journey of Ulysses as a loose guideline, Massao composed a lyrical, literary journey through cities along the Mediterranean Sea.
His point of view is always intimate, his use of a soft focus, a tight cropping and a narrow depth of field evokes touch. If his narrative style were to be translated to a literary form, it would be something like a stream of consciousness. His work often revolves around territory where he likes to wander. In Ramo it was his ancestor’s Calabria, in Jardin the mythical space of the garden, found in the streets and parks of Madrid, in Sub Sole it is the coast of the Mediterranean, cradle of many civilisations. The scope of his work is profoundly political, as it is rooted in the need to explore how humans relate to the spaces (both cultural and geographical) they inhabit.
Massao’s photography is always somehow understated but at the same time capable of powerful metaphors. He prefers to photograph a plastic bag hanging from a barbed wire fence, shaken around by the wind, or a discarded door amidst trash cans, than photographing the six-metre fences surrounding Ceuta.
In 2016 the work Jardin was awarded the BOZAR Monography Series Award. In 2017, he was nominated and be part of the .Tiff by FOMU Antwerp. In 2021, Massao was part of the Louis Roederer Discovery Award during Les rencontres de la Photographie d’Arles. In September 2021, he presented the solo exhibition Sub Sole at the Foundation A Stichting in Brussels with the book Sub Sole published by Chose Commune.