Kevin Todora's photographs don't resemble any you've seen before. In fact, much of his work on display at Erin Cluley Gallery doesn't look like photography at all. The images suck you in with their 3-dimensional quality, compelling you to examine alongside Todora the boundaries of photography's language.
For much of his work, Todora creates visually appealing collections of imagery that incorporate incongruous shapes and colors and then takes magnified photographs of them. The resulting images are blown up, some made square or rectangular, others ovular, defying long-held photographic conventions. He uses lighting and drop shadows to give the collaged images a sense of depth, and many of the photographs reflect an interest in layering contrasting shapes, particularly circles, which in some places disrupt the image, and in others reveal a second layer -- a new world.
Todora's work provokes a conversation about the difference between the tangible and the intangible in art; it engages the medium's multi-layered discussion of what is real in a world filled with manipulative editing tools. Here, the photographs aren't just of objects, they are objects, each with its own unique value. And this message is clearly conveyed, as Todora's show at Erin Cluley is one of the best-selling shows by a Dallas-based artist that I've seen lately. It's certainly the best of any recent photography shows. But that's likely because in a world where "everyone can take a photograph," Todora is proving that the medium is not quite that simple.
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See Kevin Todora's work through March 28 at Erin Cluley Gallery, 414 Fabrication St.