[imagebrowser id=94] Galerie Richard presents the work of Spanish artist, Dionisio Gonzalez, in his New York debut with the photography series “Favelas”. Originally from 2004-2007, this brought Gonzalez international recognition and acclaim.
I entered the space and was immediately drawn to the intricately composed and textured images of the subject matter. Favelas are shantytowns in Brazil that has garnered interests in terms of artistic, sociological and political factions spotlighting it. The utopian/dystopian play of architecture and nuances of life emanating from this locale is fodder for rich exploration which Gonzalez has executed exquisitely. This is a critical milepost in his career as he exhibits in New York City for the first time.
There are nine large format C-prints from the series with predominant scenes of hybrid architecture of modern style jutting out from the jumble of the shantytown terrain. In this treatment, Gonzalez with the appropriated element claims the blighted Favelas into a desirable destination. This computer-manipulated element is a direct treatise on gentrification or global architecture but in the reality of the fragile structures that support it – they offer no such guarantees that a brighter future is looming on the horizon. The photographs are snapshots of recorded time along with the host of information contained in such a locale are crammed into a single moment. Skillfully employing his expertise as a post-digital auteur, Gonzalez sets up the challenge for himself as a photographer. I recalled a show on Kenmare Street about modern architecture creeping into the once ignored neighborhood of the Favelas and in recent years, young Brazilian architects are making that leap into making the idea from this series into a reality.
Art becomes a catalyst for creative introspection that results into inspiration to revive and make a once neglected enclave of poverty into a vision of hope for a better future. Gonzalez may have gotten artistic acclaim but he brought back the fabulous possibilities to the residents of the Favelas.
Dionisio Gonzalez: Favelas / February 23 – April 7, 2012
Gallery Schedule: Tuesday to Saturday (10 am – 6 pm)
Galerie Richard – 514 West 24th Street. New York, NY 10011
article by: Oscar A. Laluyan