In his large-format photographs, the 29-year-old Goicolea casts himself in a series of theatrically staged narcissistic self-portraits as a convincing adolescent with the simple tools of costuming, makeup, and wigs. Through digital manipulation he is able to clone himself and create simultaneously humorous and horrific scenarios in which he acts out childhood incidents that explore the complex and awkward journey toward adulthood.
In discussing why he has chosen adolescence as a basis for his work, he says, "Generally, I like to look like I'm anywhere from 8 to 15 years old. I'm trying to explore that awkward period from before puberty until right when it starts. That period when you know what sex is, but you're not quite equipped to have it. Experimentation is rampant. It's a period of exaggeration, bragging, failure, and disappointment, all marked with confusion and an overall awkward identity complex."
The subject matter engages some of the more discomforting interests and activities of awkward adolescents: base humor, bodily functions, obscene gestures, loitering, and ambiguous sexual situations. These scenes of interacting digital clones are constructed in a cinematic style that mimics current trends in fashion, advertising, and music video. This pop-culture aesthetic is a deliberate strategy to place the work within the context of highly trafficked commercial images and invade the mainstream.
"Goicolea's work is often described as an extension of the tradition of the staged photographic self-portrait that had its postmodern origins in the early work of Cindy Sherman and is now practiced by a number of Goicolea's contemporaries such as Yasumasa Morimura, Nikki S. Lee, and David Henry Brown, Jr.," says curator Paul Brewer, Director of College Exhibitions. "A vanguard of other photographers such as Collier Schorr, Dana Hoey, Anna Gaskell, and Rineke Dykstra also work with varying aspects of adolescence, but Goicolea is the first to use depictions of himself."
About the Artist
Anthony Goicolea was born in Atlanta, Georgia and currently lives and works in New York City. He received his BFA from the University of Georgia in 1994 and his MFA from Pratt Institute of Art in 1996. The artists has exhibited at Rare Gallery in New York, Vedanta Gallery in Chicago, Angstrom Gallery in Dallas, MC MAGMA in Milan, Italy, and Galeria Luis Adelantado in Valencia, Spain. His work has also been included in exhibitions at Art in General, Exit Art, and White Columns in New York; SF Camerawork in San Francisco; Texas Fine Arts Association in Austin; and The Bronx Museum and P.S. 122 in New York. Upcoming exhibitions and projects include the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, Torch Gallery in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and Galerie Aurel Scheibler in Cologne, Germany.
Blizzard, 2001, C-print 40 x 42, Courtesy of RARE
Stigmata, 2000, C-Print 100 x 40, Courtesy of RARE
Whisper, 1999, C-Print 40 x 60, Courtesy of RARE