2020 – ongoing

“In the beginning was the Word” (1:1, John).

“Captionthis” is a long-term project on the shifting relationship between Image and Word today. The title hints at the vernacular online jargon and forum tag “captionthis”, where weird and witty images are deemed untaggable or “beyond words”. The layered works use the problematic aesthetic of advertising and the appealing allure of glossy images on pictorial and installation materials, testing their limits of critique, provocation and seduction.

Through techniques of manipulation borrowed from the urban and online accelerated mediascape – as the proliferation of backlit devices, the repetition of graphic logos and recurring subject matters – the installations question the cultural and political assumed value of the images that stick to our psyche and shared worldview. 

Every exhibition is an occasion of site-specific and material experimentation. The size of the works is a 1:1 scale based on the artist’s height, this correspondence introducing a “Modulor” (scale of proportions based on human measurements) and autobiographic characterization to the serial display.

In the time of ubiquitous photography and disappearing writing, mimetic and memetic representations, “captionthis” is a portrait of the conflicting hybridization of iconotexts today.


“My interest in artist Luca Massaro does not lie in the intersection of photographs and words or in their different forms of production, translation, and transmission. These differences are quite straightforward. The interesting feature of his work lies in the aesthetic narration that emerges from what is actually absent in his photographs, that is, a story we cannot truly follow. This is not only evident in his most creative works, but also in those commissioned photographs he also produces. Anyone who visits his exhibition at Viasaterna now will remain impressed by the absences his installations provide as you walk through them. If we live in a world full of content, where nothing is truly understood given their excess, then we must look for absences. Luca provides these in such a form that touches your Being as Heidegger would say. He replaces words with images whose meaning requires an effort from the public. This effort consists in interpreting what is absent in the narration.” – Santiago Zabala

“This archive of more than a thousand photos of words constitutes the raw material for his site-specific installations, such as the one here in Biel/Bienne. His three-dimensional visual poems gleaned from here and there are turned flat by being photographed; he then prints them by hand on unprimed linen canvases. By combining a medium often used in classical painting with an electronic printing method using a special mix of inks he created in his workshop, Massaro creates a one-off hand-made abstract image, like the reverberation of a word beyond the concept.” – Biel Foto Festival

“A Spasso” @ Biel Foto Festival: public installation onto the XV century church wall in the beautiful bilingual city that inspired Robert Walser’s “The Walk”
“Corps Typographiques” @ MBAL Museum
“captionthis” @ PhMuseum Days
“See Both Sides” @ Viasaterna
“Duetto” @ Viasaterna
“Milano” @ Viasaterna x Volvo Studio
Photo London 2021 by Artsy x Viasaterna
Abbecedario Fotografico @ Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio Forlì

PRESS: Aperture, PhMuseum, D La Repubblica, Der Greif, e-Flux, MOUSSE,  MarieClare, i-D UK, ATP Diary..