As you enter the Harris Art Gallery, you would think you just stepped into another dimension or just heavily overdosed on a hallucinogen.
The latest exhibit by photographer Curtis Stage, “Side Effects I Didn’t Expect,” is sure to engage your brain with its juxtaposed elements and abstract layering of photographs.
“A lot of diverse images are juxtaposed and work to create a very aesthetically pleasing result,” said Teddy Schanes, junior biology major.
The reception on Tuesday night was the debut of the exhibit at the University of La Verne. Dion Johnson, director of university art galleries, brought the exhibit to La Verne having personally worked with the visual photographer in the past.
Stage, who has previously taught at the University of La Verne, experiments with every aspect of his photography style to draw the viewer into the settings he invents in his final pieces.
With this exhibit, Stage strives for viewers to explore their aesthetic ability and create new meanings with the shared relationships of the objects in his work.
“The images aren’t like anything I have ever seen. This is my first time at a Harris Art Gallery show and I am very intrigued,” said Jocelyn Bravo, junior business administration major.
Photographs of the exhibit display various settings, locations, different objects all layered with different images and use of artificial colors.
Unrelated imagery come together in one piece to create a context that is unthinkable, based on ordinary objects. This combination of art creates a new interpretation for people to pull from the piece.
One of the images, strategically titled “Things Will Get Blurry,” features the torso of a male body, a painted circle of a flesh-tone color where the body’s head would be and in the foreground the image of a male covering his head as if expressing disdain.
“It’s very interesting to wonder where these ideas are drawn from because they are so unusual and thought-provoking,” Bravo said.
That is the power of these images lining the Harris Art Gallery. The location of the manipulated photography elements along with the meticulous crops and Photoshop features trigger the mind to create a narrative all its own. This allows an in depth experiences when viewing the pieces.
Using advanced technology, Stage creates a different space with the use of ordinary objects photographed but mounted in a different way due to what Johnson describes in his curator’s statement as a masterful warping of scale and space.
The exhibit continues through the rest of April and can be seen Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. during regular gallery hours, or by appointment.
“The nice thing about this exhibit is that it makes you want to keep looking back at images you’ve already seen because you just want to know what is going on in every layer of the photographs,” Bravo said.
For more information call the Harris Gallery at 909-593-3511, ext. 4763.
Jose Hernandez can be reached at email@example.com.