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Scott Fortino

Chicago, United States


Scott Fortino developed his approach to photography out of experiences directly related to his position as a Chicago police officer. This work led to the publication of his monograph, Institutional, which depicted seemingly impersonal architectural spaces while revealing the embedded evidence of personal use. He received his MFA from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a BA from Columbia College Chicago. He has had solo exhibitions in Chicago at the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Museum of Contemporary Photography. His work is in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, Milwaukee Art Museum, Worcester Art Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Photography, and numerous public and private collections. He lives and works in Chicago.

CAB 2 Contribution

Project Overview

Between Futility and Desire

Scott Fortino’s photography reflects on the current life of the Miesian modern legacy by interrogating a cross section of high-rise glass prisms in the city of Chicago. In this moving series, fittingly titled Between Futility and Desire, Fortino puts forward his own account of the promise of transparency and perfection posed by modern architecture as it exists today in the actuality of the city, with its relaxed mix of high modern masterpieces and corporate replicas. As Fortino directs his gaze from the public space of the city into the interiors of these buildings, the reflections caught up in the glass curtain walls virtually turn each photograph into a double exposure: a synthesis of the experience of Chicago in which the intimacy and pathos of an almost domestic interior is overlaid with an afterimage of street life and the untutored presence of nature in the city.

The City is the Site