The first element of this piece that hits you is the glowing portal that seems to shimmer through some ethereal curtain that separates the viewer from the main focal scene. My interest is immediately arrested by the figure advancing on, or retreating from, the gateway. Where is he going? Who is he? What is he doing there? The image conjures all these questions and more making me scrutinize the picture in an attempt to find the answers.
Then your view expands and you begin to see the supernatural qualities of the second gate, as it is a second gate inside a first one, as the trees that are visible inside the portal would be visible above the crumbling walls but cannot be seen. you see the dog, the shooting star, the larger lichen encrusted gate closer to the viewer and then you pause to take in the art style.
The walls, sky, stars and dog look like the finest quality photo I have ever seen and this realist sensation is utterly and perfectly juxtaposed by the painting-esque portal in the center, the two styles complimenting their subjects and each other.
The title is a concise, superbly minimalist use of language to convey the maximum emotion, playing on the feelings of separation and friendship that everyone experiences at some time or another. The main colour pallet of subdued blacks, grays and blue hues serve to invigorate the melancholy atmosphere.
If I had to make one suggestion, it would have been to have the dog looking the other way, rather than have the canine companion accepting the divide, have him staring into the portal after his retreating master.
I cannot stress enough how emotive this piece is to me and how beautifully composed, almost engineered, it is as a work of art.