Photographs by Michael Itkoff.
Charta, 2009. 64 pp., 31 color illustrations., 6¾x9½".
Signed copies available!
Michael Itkoff has traveled the world since 2002 taking portraits of everyday people in the street. In Itkoff's photographs a makeshift backdrop is held behind each of his subjects in London, Sydeny, Hanoi, Bangkok, and New York. This technique, normally reserved for celebrity and commercial portraiture, creates a striking aesthetic isolating the subjects from their urban contexts and allowing them to exist in a shared visual space as part of the same extended family.
'Shot in London, Sydney, Hanoi, Bangkok, and New York, Itkoff's portraits employ a makeshift backdrop to partially separate the subjects from their contextual surroundings. While this is a common technique for creating ambiguous context (and the basis for much of Richard Avedon's work), Itkoff refuses to adhere to the created boundaries and instead presents the full context of each figure — hands clutch a white square behind the subject while the world around them persists in full force. In his approach Itkoff is rejecting the pretension of hidden artifice, and the effect is powerful — each subject exists in a shared space, but this is a space which itself exists in everyday reality. '-Daniel Espeset, photo-eye Magazine Managing Editor