Roy Arden at Monte Clark Gallery (55 Mill, building #2), to September 10. 416-703-1700. Rating: NNN Rating: NNN
Against the day, at monte clark Gallery, showcases Roy Arden's long-term love affair with ordinary things like trash, suburban construction and flowers.
Large-scale photographs of bursting pompom-shaped common hydrangeas in lazy afternoon light are beautiful and tender. Arden gets us to witness what we often don't notice, his weapon of choice an eye for the utterly familiar.
The show's title, Against The Day, suggests political defiance, but it also refers to the hours when objects backlit by early-evening sunlight cast long shadows. An image of a typical suburban construction site includes an erect black shadow of the photographer, Lee Friedlander-style, along the bottom.
His pictures of crumpled garbage provide a critique of social issues. From a distance, trash is just trash, but on closer inspection Arden's discarded subjects reveal our fetish for money and fame. Arden comments on our fickle culture in his Versace photograph. Instead of the glamour and wealth associated with the designer label, the image shows a Versace ad ripped from a magazine and chucked into the gutter.