5 Minutes With Anthony Goicolea
In our new feature Five Minutes With… we ask artists to take 5 minutes out of their day to answer some questions through which we get to know them better. What is their go to song while working in the studio? Which single work of art would they choose to live alongside in their home? And what projects are they currently working on?
Today we have 5 Minutes with Anthony Goicolea.
Which single work of art (from ancient to modern) would you choose to live alongside in your home, and why?
Stonehenge. Because it just fits…
What is your go-to song when you’re working in the studio? How does it make you feel when you’re working, and how does it connect to your working process?
Anything by Kate Bush. Her work is simultaneously nostalgic and groundbreaking. And her songs are very narrative driven in an interconnected, non-linear, dreamlike way…something I strive for in my work.
What is your favorite gallery or museum space around the world, and why?
The Neue Gallery in NYC. The collection is amazing and so is the building. It’s the best place to be on a snowy day in NY.
Top three art or photography books?
At the moment I have been looking a lot at this massive Tome of catalogued works by Vieullard. Also, Mamma Andersson’s Catalog, and Flemish Art: Symbolism to Expressionism which is how/where I had first discovered Valerius de Saedeleer whose landscapes I love.
What projects are you currently working on?
None! Since the start of the pandemic, I’ve just been making whatever I want however I want and for no specific purpose or place. It has been a luxury and a lot of fun…
ABOUT Anthony Goicolea
Born in 1971 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Lives and works in New York
Anthony Goicolea (USA, 1971) is a first-generation Cuban American artist. He grew up in the Deep South of the United States of America, in the midst of the Cuban refugee crises, coupled with the advent of the AIDS crises, and the rise of the religious right. Goicolea was socially stigmatised for being Cuban, gay, and Catholic. These circumstances brought about a heightened awareness of social constructs, and the changing nature of identity in politics – a theme that continually influences his work. Goicolea explores themes ranging from personal history and identity, cultural tradition and heritage, to alienation and displacement.
His diverse oeuvre encompasses digitally manipulated self-portraits, landscapes, and narrative tableaux executed in a variety of media, including black-and-white and color photography, sculpture and video installations, and multi-layered drawings on Mylar. 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. Revealing a playful self-consciousness, they often consisted of complex composites of the artist himself, in all manner of poses and guises. Soon thereafter, Goicolea garnered international attention with his ambiguous, yet strangely compelling, landscapes, ranging from dream-like woodland environments to vast, unforgiving urban and industrial wastelands. The artist has created several series of digitally composited, and heretofore uncharted, topographies, often populated by bands of masked and uniformed figures.
In recent series, many of the images are devoid of humans, although the landscape reflects 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. Suggesting a world on the brink of obsolescence, these chilling images further cement the pervasive undercurrent of human alienation—from one another as well as the natural environment—that can be traced throughout the artist’s work.
Anthony Goicolea has exhibited widely, notably at the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, Illinois; the International Center of Photography, New York and Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid. Goicolea’s art is held in many public collections, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; The Guggenheim Museum of Art, New York, NY; The Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, NY; Yale University Art Collection, Photography, CT; the Museum of Contemporary Art of Castile and Leon, Spain; 21c Museum, Louisville, KY, the Akzo Nobel Art Foundation, Amsterdam, and Cobra to Contemporary/The Brown Family Collection, among others.