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Daido Moriyama
at Charles A. Hartman Fine Art, Portland, Oregon
Recommendation by Richard Speer

Continuing through February 26, 2011

World-renowned photographer Daido Moriyama (born 1931) is the subject of a small but varied retrospective, "Photographs from Five Decades." Born in Osaka, now based in Tokyo, Moriyama has long finessed the line between romanticism and vérité. In works such as "The Three Views of Japan No. 3, Matsu Matsushima," he heightens contrast to create a halo of light around an idiosyncratic subject - in this case a young boy with a downcast head and unnervingly crossed eyes. "Express, from Searching Journeys 2," which portrays a crowded subway car, has the feel of photojournalism, while "Fishnet Tights in Shimotakaido," a dramatic close-up of a woman's legs, is simultaneously glamorous and clinical, the stockings' circular and oval patterns creating Op Art-like effects and evoking architectural undergirding.  

One of the exhibition's most arresting prints, "Yokosuka, from Another Country 18," shows a young woman clad only in a flimsy dress scampering barefoot up a tight alleyway. The camera here is both voyeur and pursuer. The image's canted composition and harsh flash contribute to an atmosphere of claustrophobia and danger. Throughout these bodies of work, Moriyama expertly calibrates the ratio of realism to fantasy.

Charles A. Hartman Fine Art

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