Exhibition Opening & Artist Reception: Friday, March 30th 5–7 PM
The Book Signing: Saturday, May 12th 2 – 4pm
“Vanishing Vernacular features a selection of color works by photographer Steve Fitch focusing primarily on the distinctive, idiosyncratic, and evolving features of the western roadside landscape including topologies of neon motel signs, drive-in movie theaters, radio towers, and ancient rock pictographs. photo-eye Gallery is also proud to display Fitch’s large-scale murals for the first time in Santa Fe.”
541 Guadalupe Street
Santa Fe NM, 87501
“”Fuck Me, Fuck You”, Bahbah’s first NY solo show, showcases some of her most popular series since her breakthrough in 2014. Following in the footsteps of Sherman and Leibovitz, Bahbah has her own unique perspective on creating a narrative through the lens. She cleverly uses text to bring her narrative’s to life, expertly portraying the mindset of the, empowered, independent and freely indulgent young woman of the 21st century.”
Castle Fitzjohns Gallery
98 Orchard Street, New York, NY
New York, NY 10002
Walt Girdner Gallery
27 S El Molino Ave
Pasadena, CA 91101
OPENING RECEPTION: APRIL 20
“Formed in 1966 by Huey Newton and Bobby Seale, two students at Laney College in Oakland, California, and active for less than twenty years (1966–1982), the Panthers indelibly pierced the public consciousness through its visual code and social platforms. 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Seattle chapter, the first outside of California, and PCNW’s presentation is timed to that.
Exhibiting artists include: Maikoiyo Alley-Barnes, Endia Beal, Bruce Bennett, Howard Cash, Kris Graves, Ayana V. Jackson, Kambui Olujimi, Lewis Watts, Carrie Mae Weems, Hank Willis Thomas, Robert Wade, and others.”
PHOTOGRAPHIC CENTER NORTHWEST
900 12th Ave Seattle, WA 98122
Opening reception: Saturday, March 10, 5 to 8 p.m.
Artist’s talk: 4 to 5 p.m. Call 503-468-0238 to reserve seating.
“Representing 15 years of work, Granger will exhibit 60 photographs rendered as luminous platinum palladium prints in “Correspondence,” his first solo exhibition in nearly a decade.”
LightBox Photographic Gallery
1045 Marine Dr., Astoria, Oregon
“Seydou Keïta portrayed his fellow citizens in a way not seen by the outside world before. People came to his studio to have their picture taken at their best: wearing extravagant dresses made of wonderful textiles with splendidly formed headdress; or posing in a modern western suit with a bow tie, casually leaning against a motorcycle, or with a radio tucked under their arm. Keïta’s portraiture developed entirely independently of western photographic traditions, and shows how the citizens of Bamako saw themselves, and how they wished to be seen by others. ”
1017 DS Amsterdam
Opening Reception: March 16 | 5 – 7:30 PM
“The artists in this exhibition explore a diverse scope of approaches to photography employing non-traditional materials, processes, and historical devices.”
770 N. Lasalle Dr. #401
Opening Reception: March 8 | 5 – 8 PM
“Pushed Processes showcases work from a new generation of photographic artists who push the boundaries of the medium, incorporating their individual perceptions in a contemporary art context. The artists rework old techniques and employ modern ones to create images that demonstrate how photography and light-sensitive materials are being used to go beyond traditional photographic conventions. These diverse bodies of work include manipulated prints and moving images, two-dimensional representations and three-dimensional installations, as well as lens-based and camera-less photography.”
The Hokin Project
623 S. Wabash Ave.
Opening Reception: March 2 | 4 – 7 PM
“Working mainly in serial projects, the highly prolific Crane has built a body of work that would be the envy of most. This exhibition focuses on five distinct, but interrelated series covering street life, still life, human form, and architectural form. Each series presents a seemingly different theme up close, but viewed wholly creates a compelling and organic vision of us, our surroundings, life, and death.”
Stephen Daiter Gallery
230 W. Superior St.
The colorful photographs in Julio’s House show us extravagant, Liberace-inspired interior living spaces within a modest Miami house. We see scenes of a very personal setting, but devoid of people. The only people shown in the book are in vintage photographs taken of Orestes Gonzalez’s uncle Julio, his uncle’s friends and lovers, and his life as a cruise ship entertainer. Julio worked as a magician, tour guide and entertainer aboard a ship that took tourists between Miami and Cuba before Castro took power in 1958.
Current images of Julio‘s house are juxtaposed with vintage photographs of the same rooms and largely unchanged decor from over 30–40 years ago. The bitter-sweetness is palpable. How does Gonzalez come to terms with the loss of a family member who was somewhat estranged by his family, and put it all into context while sorting through his belongings and walking through Julio’s personal spaces?
When I first saw photographs of this project almost a year ago, I recognized the importance and the weight of responsibility for photographing spaces that belonged to a significant person in one’s life. Gonzalez’s photos include rooms that feature knickknacks, reading material on a side table, and all the ephemera that were in place while his uncle was living in his home. So the photographs are part document, part remembrance. It is a potentially revealing and rewarding endeavor to explore the themes that come from this process, decipher meaning from all of it, and try to understand it.
I had the opportunity to photograph my grandparents house while they were both living. I went through their house with a large format camera and took careful photographs of each room. The images were originally taken as a documentary study of where they lived. Looking at those photographs over twenty years later, they have transformed into vignettes of spending time in the house as a child. When I asked Gonzalez about the images in his own project, which was developed into this wonderful book, he said, “They lasso you in to a reality, away from incorrectly fantasizing over a period of time or a place. My intent with the story was to shatter the stereotype of the gay man (that my generation grew up with) as just an effete, and not family orientated individual.”
Gonzalez’s text throughout the book is well paced with the images chosen. The interior scenes of the house are counterbalanced with personal photographs or close-ups of a setting that give us a real feel for what it was like to be in the home. We see the rooms, how they are decorated, personal effects on shelves and side tables, stuffed birds attached to black velvet in picture frames, striped foil wallpaper in the dining room and green shag carpet in the front room. Bright daylight floods the rooms in his images — a stark contrast to the nightlife chronicled in some of the text describing evening parties with energetic music, dancing, and Cuban food that went straight to the gut and soul of the merry-makers in Julio’s house.
One can sense Gonzalez’s conflict, from the way Julio was marginalized by his close family long ago. But while going through Julio’s belongings and paperwork, Gonzalez discovered that his uncle had scrimped and saved and lived modestly in order to eventually bring 12 members of his immediate family to the United States from Cuba. Gonzalez discovered his uncle was a caring, family-centric man who lived a life that was at odds with the stereotypes that gay men (Cuban-American men especially, according to Gonzalez) faced in the 1970s and beyond. His previously held opinion about Julio as a flamboyant, superficial man quickly transformed into pride for his uncle.
The book feels like a hand-written letter one would write and send it to someone who has been a significant influence in their life. A letter to convey the complex emotion: ‘I understand now better what you mean to me, what you meant to me, and why our relationship is important.’ So many things are seen clearer if given enough time and distance, whether it’s physical or emotional.
It would be easy to view this collection of photographs and written memories as primarily being a remembrance. But, I feel one should look at the project as a sense of discovery. Gonzalez is presenting a visual and written exploration of the over-arching question: what would his life possibly be like if he had experienced his family in a different way, and how would that difference impact his own life as an openly gay man? Does the myth of one’s past hold up to the scrutiny of the present? Gonzalez’s photographs are taken from the angle and perspective of an adult, and they were not naively taken nor considered. The narrative text is written by a man who is recalling the past, and providing context for the life and times of his uncle. This process of self discovery, as well as trying to understand the people who influence and mold your life, is potentially one of the most important things a person can undertake. And the act of treasuring or honoring the lives of those we love reminds us of our own mortality. With consideration to Julio’s House, one could say our own possessions might mean nothing to one person, but to another it may be the key to unlocking memories and understanding.
Julio’s House by Orestes Gonzalez
Essay by Roula Seikaly
10 x 8.5″ perfect-bound, hardcover
Limited edition of 400
Julio’s House is published by Kris Graves Projects, and can be purchased online at http://www.krisgravesprojects.com/store/julioshouse. For people who want to buy a copy at the only bookstore in New York that carries it, get info at the website for Printed Matter, Inc.
Julio’s House received much deserved attention and accolades in 2017. Notably, the book was bought by The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York) as part of their book collection in the Thomas J. Watson Library, and the images have been picked up by The Fredric Snitzer Gallery in Miami. The opening date for the show “Julios House”, at the Fredric Snitzer Gallery is Friday April 6th, 2018.