Wayne Gonzales's exhibition at Paula Cooper Gallery New York gives the population masses. In this show Wayne Gonzales paints on canvas using acrylics as his medium. Gonzales's main subject matter is taken from random internet images of crowds. The faces in Gonzales's crowds look ghost-like or camouflaged like pieces of bark on a tree when walked upon. The use of colors, the muting of colors, and light and dark variations are important to the outcome of these pieces. Gonzales's figures appear to be united for a common characteristic but there are several juxtapositions in the pieces that appear to have figures in opposite directions on the canvases. Are they united or possibly confused on what they are routing for or in which direction they are going.
This exhibition is created from a study of collage work by Gonzales prior to the creation of these paintings. The use and direction of the clippings or collages create movement because they are from different places and times which mean different expressions are manifested. An example can be the difference of an expression during two events: 1. In a football game team A wins against team B by two points. 2. In a football game team A wins against team B by two points in triple overtime. The amount of suspended reaction in game two would lead you to believe the crowd's reaction will be more exaggerated.
The relevance of time in these internet photographs can be expressed in two ways, the first is relating to a certain period which clothing and styles can become a factor toward the way the piece is seen. The second way time can influence the expression in these paintings is time of day. The time of day in these unspecified internet photographs can visually create movement through light and dark formations. The time shift allows different images to appear lighter in the pieces.
In another room of the exhibition Gonzales takes a different approach using the colors black, white, and a bright yellow in some of the pieces. These figures in a crowd appear to be waiting for some sort of transportation or arriving from transportation. These pieces are more contrasted in color and hue. The clippings appear to be uniformly placed as you get a sense the people are really trying to go somewhere. Crowds seem to be weaving horizontally within a vertical pattern. The use of the warm color yellow in some of these pieces suggests a beginning or ending of a day.
Paula Cooper Gallery
May 5 - June 30 2007
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Irma Cannavo is a freelance journalist in New York.