Anthony Goicolea’s black and white digital combination print, Low Tide, 2007, shows an ocean bay besmirched by the hands of progress. Surrounded by natural rock formations, the once idyllic cove has been invaded by alien machinery. A web of electrical lines runs from rock to rock, obstructing the view of the ocean surf beyond. Witness to the scene is an older woman sitting on a bench, perhaps having seen the bay before its current state of destruction.
Born in 1971 in Atlanta, Goicolea currently works in photography, film, and painting in Brooklyn. He earned his MFA at the Pratt Institute of Art in 1996 and began showing his work in 1999. Of Cuban descent, he is primarily known for his photographic works that deal with identity, homosexuality, and environmental degradation. Low Tide is a part of a series entitled, Almost Safe.
While Goicolea’s works differ in scope, they converge in presentation and tone. Goicolea sets up each frame with an awareness of symmetry and lighting, which when presented in black and white creates a darkly surreal image. In addition, he illuminates the beauty of nature so that it strongly contrasts with the disturbing manmade impositions. I see Low Tide as a wake-up call intended to make us more conscious of how we are blindly destroying the world around us. An interesting comparison might be with the works of Wangechi Mutu. Though very different, they share in Goicolea’s juxtaposition of beauty and decay, of natural with synthetic.
Image: Anthony Goicolea, Low Tide, 2007. Chromogenic print face mounted on Plexiglass. 60 x 85 inches (152.4 x 215.9 cm). Collection of Allen Thomas, Jr., Wilson, North Carolina.