FEBRUARY 17-JUNE 28, 2009
Related featured the work of first-generation Cuban American Anthony Goicolea. Noted for his fantastic photographic narratives where he often acts out provocative charades and exploits, Goicolea turned to inventing a conceptual family album. The exhibition was comprised of drawings and photographs that resembled portraiture from the mid-1800s, when the innovation of the tintype process transported image-making from the hand of the artist to the camera.
Goicolea reclaims faces of relatives lost to memory through the family's journey from Cuba to the US, offering a tender connection between the artist and his ancestral lineage. Through the act of making the work, Goicolea's sense of loss is turned into reconnection. Related included images of dinner tables with empty seats, symbolically extending an invitation for the artist to rejoin and discover his family circle.
While Goicolea's earlier work explored androgyny, puberty, and homosexuality often with a dose of humor, it also raised questions of personal identity, history and time. Related furthered the artist's investigations to deepen his humanistic concerns with appearances. He questions how images and perceptions intertwine. This body of work is connected to contemporary artists Annette Messager and Lorna Simpson who have explored, each in different ways, identity construction, process, and reclamation.
Overall Goicolea's work can be read as the making of a diary of experiences that confront the idea of self. In Related, he dives into this process with somber observations of the relationship between memory and his own reconstruction of events and people from the past, bringing them into the present. Pairing family pictures side-by-side with his drawings, Goicolea creates haunting diptychs. These mirror images transposed the concept of original and reproduction, and offered a fascinating chronology of portraits that carried changing expressions through the artist's use of varied media.
Anthony Goicolea was born in Atlanta, Georgia in 1971. He lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. He holds an MFA from Pratt Institute of Art, New York, NY; a BFA in Drawing and Painting and a BA in Art History from The University of Georgia, Athens. His work is in numerous private and public collections, including The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; and The Guggenheim Museum of Art, New York, NY.
image: Anthony Goicolea. Supper, 2008, diptych (detail, left panel), graphite drawing and acrylic on mylar, each panel 42 x 80 in (106.7 x 203.2 cm). Courtesy Sandroni.Rey Gallery, Los Angeles, CA.