September 26, 2013
photography Manuel eSe
words Keith Widyolar
Scenes from an Exhibition
The art pulls you in many different directions. The background is real, but González has conceived modernist architecture and inserted these fully-rendered 3D structures into the natural scene. The background of Halong Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site where the local people live on boats, is a bit surreal. In González’ images, reality looks fake and the fake looks real.
González only works with subjects that are rich in their humanity, but in danger of disappearing. Before Halong Bay, he worked with Venice which is sinking into the sea, and the favelas (squatter towns) of Brazil which are being taken over as part of the FIFA World Cup and Olympic preparations.
The artist’s compositions beg questions about the conflict between the evolution and preservation of human culture. In Halong Bay there is growing concern that tourism itself will wipe out the rich culture of the boat people who have lived there for generations.
González is soft-spoken, but he is a world-class artist and one of the world’s leading architectural photographers. His modernist architectural sculptures are fully-realized 3D models. In a computer, you could go inside the buildings. González takes a similarly deep approach with his subjects spending years exploring.
Go see the exhibition. It is beautiful and thought-provoking art.
514 West 24th Street
New York NY 10011
SEPTEMBER 5 – OCTOBER 12, 2013
Tuesday-Saturday 10 am to 6 pm