Marisa Portolese is of Italian origin but was born in Montreal, Quebec, where she currently lives and works. She is an Associate Professor in the Photography Program in the Faculty of Fine Arts, at Concordia University. Her practice includes photography and video, as well as curatorial work for several institutions.
Upon graduating with an MFA degree from Concordia University in 2001, she has produced many photographic projects which have received critical acclaim, namely Belle de Jour (2002), The Recognitions (2004-05), Breathless (2007), The Dandy Collection (2003-2008), Imagined Paradise (2010), Pietà (2010) and Antonia’s Garden (2007-2011). She has exhibited widely in Canada, Europe, the United States and Asia. In 2007, she was invited to participate in the prestigious international biennale of contemporary photography: Le Mois de la Photo à Montréal. She has also curated several exhibitions and helped organize the McGill street project entitled Inspirations-A Dialogue with the William Notman Archives, a McCord Museum initiative. A monograph of Antonia’s Garden was recently published by UMA-La Maison de l’image et la Photographie.
Alongside her exhibition record, critics have written about her work in publications such as Canadian Art, Border Crossings, Ciel Variable magazine, ETC Montreal, as well as other journals, magazines, newspapers and art books. In addition, Dazibao publications published a book of her photographs. She is the recipient of several awards and numerous grants from the Canada and Quebec Arts Councils, as well as the DuMaurier Arts Foundation. She is represented by Gallery Lilian Rodriguez (Canada) and Charles Guice Contemporary Art (USA).