Abelardo Morell (American, b.1948) is one of the few remaining contemporary artists specializing in the application of Camera Obscura, an ancient photography technique that uses the obscura camera, a square-shaped structure with a small aperture that permits light to penetrate through the lens, in order to project inverted images from outside. The technique was heavily employed by Renaissance artists such as Leonardo Da Vinci to aid in painting, and Morell uses it to capture amazing images of choice locations around the cities of New York and Boston. Abelardo Morell was born and raised in Cuba, but in 1962, at the height of the Cold War, his family fled to New York City, where he studied at Bowdoin College and graduated with a BFA in 1977. In 1981, Morell received an MFA from Yale University School of Art. He dedicated the next 10 to 15 years of his career to Camera Obscura photography, creating numerous impressive pieces that have been showcased extensively across museums and art galleries in the United States.
In the early 1990s, his works were featured in publications such as the Philip Morris Collection (1990), Pleasures and Terrors of Domestic Comfort (1991), Fables of the Visible World (1992), and Feels Like Home (1995). His sample images were exhibited in different museums and galleries, such as the North Gallery in Boston (1988), The National Arts Club in New York City (1993), the Bonni Benrubi Gallery in New York City (1994), and the Jan Abrams Gallery in Los Angeles (1995). Morell's famous pieces from the 1990s include Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1998), A Camera in a Room (1995), and A Book of Books (2002). His 2004 publication, Camera Obscura, features 60 of the artist’s best photographs that he took using the ancient photography technique.
In 2007, filmmaker Allie Humenuk made a documentary about the life and times of this iconic photographer. Morell received an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from his alma mater in 1997. Prior to this, he was awarded multiple fellowships from organizations such as the Cintas Foundation, John Simon Guggenheim, and the New England Foundation. Morell is currently Artist-in-Residence at the Alturas Foundation in South Texas.