Fabrice Strippoli at the Geist Gallery (1054A Gerrard East), to October 12. 416-561-4856. Rating: NNN Rating: NNN
Here's a picture: a young boy stands centre frame at the corner of a stark downtown building erected in 1949. He looks straight into the lens, his expression somewhere between confusion and intrigue.
His face is so interesting, but eventually my eyes wander downward to the picture cards of the Virgin Mary held firmly in his hand. His middle finger protrudes over the Virgin's forehead, with no other fingers in sight.
That's funny, I think - it's like he's swearing at the Virgin.
Was that intentional on his part or the photographer's? Am I even supposed to notice this?
Next picture. Since the mirror's borders are blurry, it takes a moment to realize I'm actually looking backwards at a motorcycle in a car's rearview mirror. Around the mirror, the photo shows the familiar chaos of cars and pedestrians on Spadina. Both views are in clear focus. Very rarely can we look backwards and forwards at the same time, but in this photo we can.
It's photographer Fabrice Strippoli 's Dark City, and it is beautiful. The creative eye behind these seemingly simple black-and-white prints at the Geist Gallery will make you look closely. Like the late Henri Cartier-Bresson, Strippoli uses light to catch perfect moments, moods and reflections that keep viewers doing a double-take.