DENVER, CO.- MCA Denver
announces the opening of Anthony Goicoleas Related in the Laura & David Merage Foundation Photography Gallery. The exhibition opens February 17, 2009 and runs through June 28, 2009. A public reception will be held on Friday, February 20 from 6-10pm. This exhibition was curated by Cydney Payton, who comments, Goicolea is a archivist of sorts. He offers us a conceptual library, a catalog of the strangeness of identity. For Goicolea, concepts converge with reality through process. His use of photography and drawing as mediums engender questions about the relationship between the authentic and the constructed. To curate such work required letting go into the dialog with the artist. This scenario extended the nature of identity into the public forum of presentation.
Through his new body of work, Related, Anthony Goicolea explores his identity as a first-generation Cuban-American. Drawings, photographs, and installations, based on portraits of relatives he may not have met, speak of his attempt to retrace his origins and become familiar with the faces of people whose traits he shares. Images of empty seats at dinner tables are symbolic of those who are missing and extend an invitation to rejoin the family circle.
As in Goicoleas earlier work, the question of personal identity is a central point of investigation. While previous photographs explore themes of androgyny, puberty, and homosexualityoften with a good dose of humorhis new body of work has a more solemn tone. Character play and staged selfportraits in the vein of artists like Cindy Sherman (born 1954) and Justine Kurland (born 1969) have given way to questions of belonging, social environments and their influence on personal histories.
For Related, Goicolea took family portraits of his Cuban relatives and paired them with drawings he made to look like negative film images of the photographs. Displaying them side-by-side, he creates haunting diptychs that question the concept of original and reproduction. Evoking the appeal of early photography, nostalgia for a distant time and place finds expression in the medium chosen by the artist. Through drawings of family portraits in bottles placed atop a seawall recreated in the gallery, Goicolea sends fragile messages across real and figurative barriers.
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 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. Among many group and solo exhibitions are Almost Safe, Postmasters Gallery, New York, NY (2007); International Video Art Exhibition, Today Art Museum, Beijing, China (2007);The Septemberists, Aurel Scheibler Gallery, Berlin, Germany (2006).