The Houston Press
Urban Planning
Review by Kelly Klaasmeyer, 2005

In Luis Mallo's large color photographs, the patterns and surfaces of chain-link fences and graffiti-covered, rusted sheets of metal become curtains that reveal and conceal urban vistas. In his exhibition "In Camera" at Sicardi Gallery, Mallo displays his mastery of found compositions, isolating compelling forms in industrial urban environments. The compositions strike you first, then you realize what they're really portraying. In one work, he hones in on vertical clusters of tree trunks, tightly sandwiching them between the horizontal sheen of corrugated metal and the diamond patterns of a chain-link fence. A metal panel -- all flaking paint and marker scrawls -- dominates another photograph; a rusted triangular hole in its surface provides a glimpse of the rounded form of a water tower in the distance, and below it, a rectangular gap reveals the receding vertical lines of a railroad yard. Mallo bends the unattractively industrial to his will.

Luis Mallo  
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