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Anthony Goicolea Opens At Artspace

03 April 2002

Anthony Goicolea pushes narcissistic fantasies into the realm of the absurd His exhibition opens at Artspace, Auckland at 6pm Monday 22 April

This striking exhibition of colour photographs by young, New York photographer Anthony Goicolea puts a disturbing twist on self-portraiture. Goicolea is in New Zealand for an artist residency and Artspace was quick to secure eight of his recent works for display at the K Road Gallery. The exhibition Anthony Goicolea opens at Artspace on 22 April and runs until 25 May 2002.

His staged and composite self-portraits present a digitally altered world, that is both humorous and horrific, endearing and perverse. His works push narcissistic fantasies into the realm of the absurd. Populated by a society of carbon-copies, Goicolea¹s images depict an army of little rascals, digital clones of the artist in his own version of Village of the Damned.

Goicolea is not afraid to use his boy-scout charm, soliciting sympathy from viewers. Although his images feature fighting, spitting, licking, masturbating, and all manner of excess body fluids, this grossness is offset by a saccharine Home Alone cuteness. The mural sized photographs in this show of recent work suggest grim fairytales, Lord of the Flies mayhem, and Henry Darger insanity. Goicolea says, ³My characters address the social conventions of age as well as gender by embodying neutered childhood myths and exploring the awkward journey toward adulthood.²

One of the key works in the exhibition, Warriors 2001, has cinematic proportions. Over six metres wide, the work depicts an improvised army of adolescent boys preparing for a makeshift battle with horseshoes, knives and garden tools. The artist, bewigged and costumed, is cast in a multitude of poses, endlessly replicated and slightly differentiated. The work could be a reflection on both genetic engineering and the foibles of social oganisation.

Goicolea explores new artistic territory in this show too. His work Nail biter 2001 is his first ever foray into using DVD technology and moving image projections. The works presented at Artspace were all made in 2001 and mix photographic technology with advanced Photoshop computer skills. Gallery Director Hanna Scott describes the works as having ³a slick, airbrushed aesthetic that creates a sense of artificial reality, vanity and pastiche.² Goicolea¹s working method is at the experimental edge of photographic practice, merging digital imaging technology with photographic illusion. His works convincingly refute the old adage that Œthe camera never lies¹.

Goicolea is visiting New Zealand as Unitec¹s Artist in Residence. He graduated from Pratt Institute with a Master of Fine Arts in 1996 and since then he has exhibited both in the USA and in Europe. In addition to his show at Artspace this year, Goicolea will also stage a solo exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago.

For further information or images please contact Hanna Scott / Director, Artspace tel +64 9 303 4965 or 021 171 3845; or email artspace@artspace.org.nz

Ends

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