Artist of the week 06/06/05
Anthony Goicolea, Whet, ©1999, black and white photograph, 40" x 88", Edition of 5
I saw it in a group exhibition back in 1999 or 2000 and knew I would never forget it. All three of the figures are actually Anthony, obviously digitally inserted into the same scene somehow (I've never asked him about his process, but he's clearly a master at it). His Detention series is even more provocative and memorable (particularly [warning: not work safe] this image and this one, and yes, again, it's mostly him in each role). Violence and mayhem among adolescents run rampant through many of the earlier narratives Anthony created in his photography and videos, but lately he's stopped using his own image as much (he still looks half his age, but he suggested once he can't keep doing that series for ever because he's getting older).
A friend of Anthony's (and disclaimer, one of my artists, Jennifer Dalton) explained Anthony's work this way:
Across the specific differences among Goicolea’s works, the artist tirelessly excavates human weakness, awkwardness, and discomfort. Toward the end, he returns again and again to his themes of adolescent sexuality, unflinching self-exploration, and the never-ending contest between victims and victimizers. We are torn between the desire to witness these strivers and underdogs evolve gloriously into calm, powerful grown-ups and wanting to observe the Peter Pans as they play out the piercing struggles of adolescence—such apt metaphors for the rest of life’s battles—into eternity.
A few years ago, Anthony expanded his project to include landscapes. Here's one absolutely stunning image (click on image for larger version). You can see it's still digitally composed, and over the top, but gone are the humans:
Anthony Goicolea, Cherry Island, ©2002, 27" x 71", Edition of 9
Anthony was recently picked up by Postmasters Gallery in Chelsea, where his latest exhibition just closed, unfortunately, but in that exhibition, he returned to narratives with people. The Kidnap series is in someways perhaps his darkest yet, but still totally unforgettable (again, click for larger image):