Within this perspective Gonzales questions and creates the artist's appearance. She is interested in how artist's identities are part and parcel of the commodification of the work itself now. Having enough money can construct identities and buy into fame. If a potential artist is careful, he or she can also be "liked" enough to harness the perks of social media and its far reaching consequences. Social media can create an acceptance and idolisation by 'everyone' no matter what the cost to a bank account or soul. Fame is at the ready for anyone because they paid off the right publicist, and they 'liked' enough friends' postings that they now take a turn in the role of perpetual glorification by the hidden assemblage of people in front of their phones and laptops on the social media platform. It's as easy as a click and a share here or there, we all do this, some are more prone to believing it more than others dare to admit.
These constructions in identity are a type of human packaging if you will. Which packaging do you want to believe? Narcism or self loathing the bearer of this Jeckyl and Hyde dichotomy believes in both, no matter how disturbing they can be. I find both just as disgusting as each other, but I like to look at one as much as the other. So does that make me a voyeur? Do these questions of identity of an assumed celebrity or artist affect the quality of the work they make? In New York City in particular the saturation of this phenomena is on the increase. Does anyone care that so many come here to smell and taste a Bohemia from the 60's and 70's and claim it to their own identities and persona? Are they working here as a server in a restaurant that moonlights as an artist, or are they working here as an artist moonlighting as a server in a restaurant? Pictures and 'selfies' are very ambiguous sometimes. New York itself is not to blame, its reputation is.
For her second solo exhibition in New York, Gonzales has strategically chosen the location: a retail store frontage in Soho to showcase an installation of satirical projections and reflections. This neigbourhood is an archetypal example of commercialization, as it used to be the location of artists’ lofts and alternative galleries, but has now transformed into an up-scale shopping center in one of the most celebrated cities in the world.
Pardon our Appearance, opens Thursday 26th June 7pm-10pm at New Soho Gallery, 311 West Broadway, New York, NY 100013, and runs through July 7th, 2014.
Text by Edison Zapata
Romina Gonzales (b. 1989, Lima, Peru) is a classically trained artist whose work exists as an inquiry into re- building aesthetics by executing investigations that negate and deconstruct established social and artistic conventions. She is essentially a mixed media artist utilising painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography, video, installation and performance. She has exhibited in Lima and New York, creating site-specific installations that invite the viewers to interact and physically alter her work. Her work has been featured in the New York Post, The Examiner, CBS New York, NY Daily News, Brooklyn Downton Star, Glass Quarterly Magazine, New Glass Review by the Corning Museum of Glass, among others, and most recently featured in video series at Cooper Hewitt, The Smithsonian Design Museum New York. She currently designs and makes work for OFFCENTRE, a New York based design company she co-founded with Edison Zapata.
For more information visit www.rominagonzales.com