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“Alter Ego: A Decade of Work by Anthony Goicolea,” opens Friday, Jan. 27 at 21c Museum Hotel and will be on view through July 15.

Goicolea, a first generation Cuban-American artist, will attend the opening, according to Stephanie Greene, 21c communications manager.

As part of the opening, Proof on Main at 21c will host an artist talk and artist dinner January 28.

The talk is free and is scheduled for 6 p.m. in the Atrium Gallery of the museum, which is at 700 W. Main St. downtown.

The artist dinner is $85 per person for the three-course meal. The dinner is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.

This is the artist’s first monographic exhibition to include both early and recent works of art, representing the vast scope of his career to date, Greene stated in an email.

Goicolea made his debut in the 1990s with a series of provocative photographs featuring young men on the threshold of adolescence acting out childhood fantasies and bizarre rituals in staged settings or fairytale forests.

Soon after, the artist garnered international attention with his dream-like woodland landscapes and vast, apocalyptic urban wastelands.

His recent works explore his roots and family heritage.

From Stephanie Greene:

 The exhibition is organized by the North Carolina Museum of Art and the Telfair Museums in collaboration with 21c Museum. It has shown already at both of those museums. But 21C is expanding it considerably for the exhibition here at 21c to include 20 works not shown at NCMA and 5 that were not shown in Savannah including two early works from 2011/2012 and three of the artist’s most recent large-scale drawings from the 2011 Pathetic Fallacy series. The exhibition (running January 27 to July 15) will fill all of the gallery spaces at 21c and 37 of the 62 works in the exhibition belong to 21c; 21c Museum owns the largest collection of Goicolea works in the U.S.

About “Alter Ego,”: by Alice Gray Stites, 21C chief curator and Director of Arts Programming:

Anthony Goicolea is a first-generation Cuban American artist now living and working in Brooklyn, New York. Employing a variety of media, Goicolea explores themes ranging from personal history and identity, to cultural tradition and heritage, to alienation and displacement.

Best known for his powerful, and often unsettling, staged photographic and video works, Goicolea made his artistic debut in the late 1990s with a series of provocative multiple self-portrait images. These early works featured groups of young boys on the threshold of adolescence, acting out childhood fantasies and bizarre rituals of revelry and social taboo in highly staged domestic or institutional settings or dense, fairy-tale forests.

Goicolea’s ambiguous yet strangely compelling landscapes, which range from dream-like woodland environments to vast, unforgiving urban and industrial wastelands, are often populated by bands of masked and uniformed schoolboys. Later landscape works are devoid of human figures, although the images reflect an anonymous and increasingly tenuous human presence. In these works, primitive lean-tos and crudely constructed shanties coexist in an uneasy union with the technological vestiges of an industrialized society.

Recently, the artist trained his unflinching eye on his own personal history, exploring his roots and family heritage. These images and installations are characterized by a fervent search for ancestral and social connections to a mythical homeland, Cuba—at once revealing nostalgia for a past that the artist never actually experienced, as well as a pronounced sense of cultural dislocation and estrangement.

 At 21c, Alter Ego includes Goicolea’s latest exhibited drawings, in which the artist continues combining elements of fantasy, science fiction, and the natural world in his visionary explorations of the human experience.

 

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