"Mandame una foto Armando. Te amo, mami, Alba Gonzalez."
At B.C.A.D. Art Gallery earlier this month I presented my first solo photo exhibition -showcasing a series of 6 self-portraits and 4 large resin-cast paper sculptures. I don't know whether the process of putting the show together (most of this past year) or having the idea of hanging up large pieces of my face in a large empty room for everyone to gaze at was crazier. Either way it was life changing and something I am so content with, now having had some time to reflect on the experience.
While experimenting on an assignment I had last year with archived imagery, I decided to work on portraits of my own family - dressing up as certain members and recreating the images. Somewhere in between shooting I decided to write letters between two of the characters, Armando (my grandfather) and Alba (his mother), and creating a narrative in 1950s based Bronx/Dominican Republic - around the time the photos were taken. And 10 works later L2A was born -and with the help of artist/friend Stephanie Mota, whom I'm much obliged to, we decided to make this into a show.
With accompanying video (shown above) and the process of casting the enlarged handwritten letters in resin, the letters came to life. The project itself wasn't so much about finding out who they were but literally placing myself into the history - one that I created because I know very little factual information. Detailed images of the work can be seen here.
Alex Martinez and Matt Negron were pivotal working parts on getting the gallery together and Nia Fields for producing footage of the reception. And I am ever grateful for the love and support I encountered that night for those who came and those who visited throughout its running. Thank you.