Vegas Shoe. North end of Las Vegas, 2012. Courtesy Antonio Gomez.
FIELD NOTES: A June 2014 visit to the office of photographer Antonio Gomez came after being introduced to his color work in his solo show,”Six Years of Solitude,” an exhibition at Brett Wesley gallery a year earlier. His series of isolated Luche Libre was based on a childhood recall of “El Blue Demon” and is stirring emotional work from an artist who dealt with solitude during uncertain migration to the U.S. from Mexico.
During the visit Gomez shared other sets, including one that is a recurring theme from artists working in Las Vegas; the juxtaposition of reality and the simulated. That set by Gomez is now featured online at National Geographic’s “Focus.”
When choosing which images to pair, Gomez considers three approaches. Along the lines of contrast, Gomez juxtaposes scenes that highlight the contradictory nature of Las Vegas, often building on the theme of Vegas as an adult playground. The second category is comprised of scenes that are physically or psychologically related, such as a similar object in a different context.
That June visit also introduced me to his series of Mexican charrerías, or rodeos, that’s a contemporary connection to Mexican cinema, and by no accident, a connection to the compositions of Los Tres Grandes, Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco and David Siqueiros.
Gomez teaches photography at CSN.
Jackie Gendel "The Carried Man" (2012)
UNLV's Visiting Artist Lecture Series begins Sept. 4 with Jackie Gendel, the painter who, as Ryan E. Steadman once wrote in Art Forum, "blends the impudent draftsmanship and audacious color of the Fauvists with a knack of caricature akin to New Yorker Cartoonist Rea Irvin." It opens the 2014 series that commits to a "diverse array of some of the most compelling artists and thinkers working in the art world today." The month fills out with talks from Joan Linder and her quill pen and ink complexity (Sept. 11), ceramic wunderkind Matt Wedel (Sept. 18), and animator Chris Sullivan (Sept. 25). Tony Tasset opens October's line-up. The lectures are Thursday evenings starting at 7 p.m. and open to the public.
Seminar in Visual Arts
Fall 2014 Lecture Series.
Jackie Gendel (Painting) Sept. 4
Joan Linder (Drawing) Sept. 11
Matt Wedel (Ceramics) Sept. 18
Chris Sullivan (Animation) Sept. 25
Tony Tasset (Sculpture) Oct. 2
Julie Saul (Photo Gallery) Oct. 9
Wesley Anderegg (Ceramics) Oct. 16
Siobhan Piercy (Print) Oct. 23
Andre Goeritz (Sculpture) Oct. 30
Hugh Davies (MCASD Director) Nov. 6
Jenni Sorkin (Art Historian) Nov. 13
Robert Beckmann (Painting) Nov. 20
ADD: Patrick C. Duffy, president of the Las Vegas Art Museum board, has been named chairman of the UNLV Galleries board, reports UNLV College of Fine Arts.
ABOVE: Detail of new mural by D*Face at the Plaza Hotel.