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Photo Exhibit by Tony Gonzalez, Opening Sept. 12, Combines Vintage Printing with Digital Technologies
Untitled Document

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Phyllis Cohen Stevens
Deputy Director of News Services
phyllis.cohen-stevens@qc.cuny.edu

(718) 997-5597

Maria Matteo
News Assistant
maria.matteo@qc.cuny.edu
(718) 997-5593

“FIGURE STUDIES AND BANYAN TREES”:
PHOTOGRAPHS BY TONY GONZALEZ


--Exhibition Combines Vintage Printing Technique with Digital Technologies in an Exploration of Organic Forms--

Exhibition Dates: Tuesday, September 12 - Friday, October 27, 2006
   
Where: The Queens College Art Center
6th floor, Benjamin S. Rosenthal Library
Queens College
65-30 Kissena Boulevard, Flushing, NY
 
Gallery Talk and Reception: Tuesday, September 12, 2006, 5 - 6 pm
Reception, 6 - 8 pm
Gallery Hours: Mondays - Thursdays, 9 am - 8 pm
Fridays, 9 am - 5 pm
(On October 2, hours are 9 am - 5 pm; closed October 9)
 
Gallery Contacts: For more info: (718) 997-3770
www.qc.cuny.edu/Library/art/artcenter.html
Fee: Free and open to the public


FLUSHING, NY, August 16, 2006 – Figure Studies and Banyan Trees, an exhibition of recent photographs by Tony Gonzalez, will be on view at the Queens College Art Center beginning Tuesday, September 12. On that day, the public is invited to a free gallery talk by the artist from 5 to 6 pm, followed by a reception to 8 pm.
In two series of photographs that combine vintage printing with digital technologies, the artist explores organic forms and investigates the tension between literal and abstract images. Figure Studies, shown here for the first time, are studies of the human body, each 12 x 16 inch photograph digitally printed from a scanned, 4 x 5 inch black-and-white negative. The resulting
images, Gonzalez says, “combine the contour elements of a line drawing with the subtle tonal quality of a photograph.”

The earlier Banyan Trees series, in which Gonzalez first developed this formal and metaphorical investigation, was shot with 35mm black-and-white negative film using an old Kodak stereo camera. The negatives were scanned and digitally printed using archival pigments. Visitors view the 3 1/2 x 7 inch prints using a replica of the stereoscope designed by Oliver Wendell Holmes, which offers a three-dimensional effect that enhances the spatial and sculptural qualities of the trees.

Of Banyan Trees, Gonzalez says:

This series combines 19th century optical devices with 20th century camera and materials, along with 21st century technology. With this series I am also pursuing my fascination with realism as it is achieved through the stereoscopic effect. In this digital age of virtual reality, the stereoscope offers the viewer an experience that is more active and less passive. The effect of looking though a stereoscope makes for a most intimate and private experience. The viewer, who is in effect wearing blinders, “enters” the image without outside distractions.

This work reflects my interest in the tension between literal and abstract images, as well as the relationship between sensuality and sexuality as it is evidenced in nature. With their intertwining “limb like” roots and branches and various textured surfaces, the banyan trees provided the perfect subject as metaphor. In some images the trees are like figures draped over one another; in others, the tree bark suggests the surface of some undefined creature, while others appear as though they might be human organs of some kind. In addition, the markings on some of the trees function as tattoos or scars, referring to the trees’ own history and in turn giving them a certain personality.

In these sensitive studies, Gonzalez explores his subjects through light, surface and form, just as he did in his early drawings and paintings. Figure Studies are, in his words, “the result of a dual interest I have in both photography and drawing. Instead of using a pencil or a piece of charcoal to render line and contour, I use a camera to help me achieve my ultimate goal: to create images … observed or inspired by memory.” The unusual techniques that Gonzalez employs, coupled with richly charged themes, open his photography to insights that transcend the medium.

Gonzalez is a graduate of The Cooper Union School of Art (BFA, 1987) and Yale University (MFA, 1989). He has taught at Burlington County College in New Jersey and at The Cooper Union, Pratt Institute, and New York University. He is currently on the Queens College art department faculty.

Gonzalez’s photographs have been shown in numerous exhibitions throughout the United
States, most recently this summer by the Cheryl McGinnis Gallery in New York City, and are represented in public, corporate and private collections. His work has been published in articles in Professional Photographers of America, Photographer Forum, Nueva Luz, The Futurist Magazine, The Landmarks of New York, and in monographs, exhibition catalogs and reviews. He has received awards from the New Works Photography Competition sponsored by En Foco (1996), Photographer’s Forum Magazine (Award of Excellence, 1991), the City Without Walls Gallery (1990), the Ward Cheney Memorial Award (1989), as well as a Ford Foundation Fellowship (1987-1989).

Photographs as well as biographical and sales information are available upon request.

For directions to Queens College, please visit http://www.qc.cuny.edu/about/directions.php


 
 

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Deputy Director of News Services
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(718) 997- 5597
  

Maria Matteo
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Queens Hall, Room 270B

maria.matteo@qc.cuny.edu
(718) 997-5593

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