"Edgy" Exhibition: Pushing the Limits of Photographic Art: May 2 - May 31, 2008.
Edgy presents images that are conceptually modern, make a statement, visually provocative and will stop the audience in their tracks. This exhibition consists of fifty-five photographers representing Canada, Finland, France, India, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Serbia and the United States.
Michael Itkoff was the juror. Michael is a fine art photographer as well as the founding editor of Daylight Magazine. Itkoff’s photographs are included in public and private collections throughout United States.
"My God, it's full of Stars" is the famous line from "2001, a Space Odyssey." The idea that consciousness is infinite, unfathomable and ageless and that belief in our own personal reality is futile, is the basis for this image.
The stars and face correspond to infinity and finite reality, respectively. The peeling paint represents the peeling back of the illusion as well as inevitable decay of finite life.
There is a dynamic play in the image - going into the image and coming back out again - a play between the gaze directed out at the viewer, the tenuous veil of a face, and the stars within.
I provoke the viewer to complete the image and bring it alive. The viewer is initially presented
with a puzzle - the decaying face, an enigmatic expression and the stars within. Then a split second of terror when the viewer confronts the enigmatic expression, the gaze, and the infinity behind it, and realizes that the person does not exist - there is nothing to grasp onto. I want the viewer to experience a timeless infinity looking back through the eyes of the face. At the same time, the penetrating gaze and enigmatic expression challenges the viewer to solve the puzzle.
Eventually surprise - there is no separation between the viewer and the stars - the viewer is looking into a mirror - and the decaying face is that of the viewer.