May 16, 2007

Present In Spirit

Every spring, for the whole month of May, the city of Toronto hosts the Contact Photography Festival. Photographers from around the world exhibit their work in art galleries, cafes, restaurants and design stores. Some of the work is exhibited in unexpected public spaces like subway stations, outdoor billboards and bus stations.

This year's theme, the Constructed Image, explores the possibilities of digital photography in constructed scenes and digitally manipulated images that create visual fantasies.

One of the artists represented in this year's festival is the Spanish photographer Jose Manuel Ballester with an exhibit in the Nicholas Metivier Gallery. Ballester creates large-scale architectural photographs of large commercial spaces. The artist expertly uses perspective to highlight the scale and the structural elements of these empty spaces. He digitally manipulates light that filters through vaulted ceilings and glass walls. These effects add a mystical, almost spiritual quality to the spaces.

Click on images to enlarge

The below image is a good example of how well Ballester uses perspective to create volume and depth. It is of the Thyssen-Bornemisza museum in Madrid.

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