October 6 – November 30, 2023
In 2021, Toronto-based photographer Stephen L. Starkman was diagnosed with small-cell lung carcinoma. After a series of radiation and chemotherapy treatments, the artist learned the disease had spread to his brain and was incurable. During and after his treatment, Stephen documented his illness in service of his book, The Proximity of Mortality (2022). Combining landscapes, hospital scenes, and self-portraiture with poems and quotes by other cancer patients, the book offers a glimpse into both the physical and psychological ramifications of terminal illness.
The images are vast and moving. They tell a frank and beautiful story, each showing a quiet confrontation with what does -or does not- come after life’s end.
The Griffin Museum is deeply saddened by the passing of this amazing photographer and wonderful human in September of 2023. To honor his legacy and this deeply important volume, we have displayed just some of the images from the book here.
Thank you, Stephen, for all you have given to the world.