ASAHI EVENING NEWS, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 1992
City Life: Greed, Hunger and Loss
By M. Jordan
Special to the Asahi Evening News
The work now being shown at Galerie YMA in Tokyo, is that of photographer/sculptor, Ithaka. Although these two mediums seem at first glance to be separate entities, these photos show that the two seem to go hand in hand. The photographs are a journey into the mysteries of emotions. When looking at them you cannot help but get caught up into the feelings they conjure; happiness, remorsefulness, confusion unknowingness, mournfulness.
Ithaka enables the viewer to take a look into the world (perhaps his own hermetic world) of bottled up emotions. His work is truly personal, his subjects are close friends of his, yet one doesn't feel left out when viewing them.
Ithaka began assisting photographers at a very young age and shortly thereafter went out on his own. He has shot photographs for nearly every fashion magazine including, Vogue, Elle and Glamour, and has also shot the record covers for many bands. The problem for Ithaka was that working specific photograph jobs compromised him from the start. He began doing sculptures as a way to take a break from the rigors of the job.
The sculptures used in the photos are cut and restructured surfboards. All have taken on a new form as well as a new life, displaying the forms of the human body (usually female) as well as Ithaka's own creations. Before restrictions had been placed on him as to how he could shoot his photos; he had been forced to take a back seat. Now what he was yearning for was to create his own type of photographs. He son began to fuse the two mediums, hence coining his own term "sculptography."
Although Ithaka (Ithaka darin Pappas) was born and raised in Los Angeles, the city proved to have too strong of an impact on his work. Los Angeles was too overbearing; and he no longer wanted to struggle against the Los Angeles mindset that declares its self to be the center of the globe. This Los Angeles mindset is perfectly encapsulated in his sculptures shown in this exhibit, entitled "Greed, Hunger, Loss," all representing aspects typical of any metropolis.
His photos also show the lost feelings that are hard to recover when living in a big city, yet they always remind us of why this loss occurs. Lying peacefully stretched out in the sand we are mesmerized by the serenity of "Joni by the Sea," yet down below the rocky cliff reality sets in showing what the city is all about--we see a Mercedes and a Lamborghini on the highway below. Our illusion is shattered and we are immediately pulled back into the present.
Ithaka 's search for eternal well being has led him to Lisbon, Portugal where he is now based. Portugal offers him a new outlook on life,. According to Ithaka, "life here is more simple, when you're in a place like this -- life is about you and the people around you, not the world at large." One has to wonder where this new exploration will now take him, or us.
Works by Ithaka at Galerie YMA
(03-3562-0007 on Suzurandori in Ginza near Ginza subway station through Oct.7.
The gallery is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.