Friday, February 23, 2018

Art Gallery

Art Gallery of Toronto, May 2017

IF YOU FOLLOW ME ON INSTAGRAM, YOU'LL KNOW THAT I SPEND A LOT OF TIME at the Art Gallery of Ontario, mostly waiting for my youngest daughter to finish art classes. I began taking my camera with me to "practice," so to speak - taking pictures of the collection and the building at first, but then concentrating on my fellow gallery-goers as they took in the art, alone or in groups.

I spent a lot of Saturdays and Sundays at the AGO last year, attempting to make myself invisible while I tried to get shots of my fellow citizens taking in the exhibits. I probably never would have started doing this without my Fuji X30, with its nearly silent electronic shutter and a rear LCD screen that folds out and up like a waist level viewfinder.

Art Gallery of Toronto, Apr. - Dec. 2017

My pictures of gallerygoers were a personal challenge: Taking photos of people that weren't portraits, a sort of street photography with strictly limited variables. When I do a portrait, I try to force a relationship, however brief and one-sided, with the subject. With these photos, I have no relationship with the subject at all; most of the time I never see their face.

If they come in a group or even as a couple, people in art galleries are often, inevitably alone, reacting with the art or in some private drama. Sometimes they even echo the art. What started as a way to test my reflexes with the shutter and train my eye has slowly become a cumulative portrait of my fellow citizens in contemplation and reflection. I can't wait to get back.

Art Gallery of Toronto, June - Dec. 2017

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