Anthony Goicolea, Back To One

Space. From 13 Apr, 2023 to

Anthony Goicolea returns to Galeria SENDA to present "Back To One" with new drawings and paintings using varied techniques and different dimensions.



My work is a visceral reaction to a lifetime navigating the coded boundaries that exist between cultures, genders, ages, and traditions.

I paint fictional scenarios through the lens of my personal and family history. Growing up Cuban, gay and Catholic in the Deep South during the early 1970s forged my awareness of social constructs such as regional traditions, rituals, and history, and how those elements play out and define arenas of identity, gender, and place.

I was coming of age in the midst of the Cuban refugee crisis coupled with the advent of the AIDS crises and the rise of the religious right, a confluence of events that remarkably parallels our current cultural and political climate.

My paintings are poignant, cinematic portraits that mix cross-cultural references. I use coded cultural signifiers gleaned from folklore, mythology, religion, and fairytales, in my paintings to draw parallels between past and present.

These works are characterized by a feeling of familiarity and dreamlike otherworldliness. I gravitate towards scenarios that focus on the figure caught in a transitional “in-between state” that defies clear interpretation as a result of conflicting cultural touchstones or signifiers. Many of the figures are painted in a moment of fatigue or ennui. Their acrid colors, androgynous poses, and deadpan stares are rendered in a thick scumble over rough linen to reveal past layers of paint.

The similarities between the advent of AIDS and the Covid-19 pandemic, the refugee crises of the 70’s and current anti-immigration nativism, and the Reagan era culture wars compared to the resurgent right’s religious attack on race, gender, and bodily autonomy have combined to reawaken memories of navigating familiar terrain in my adolescence. My paintings address these murky childhood memories through a cast of fictional character studies. Like jaded actors from another era, the figures in my paintings mirror the past and stare out with an exhausted gaze knowing the parallels of our current situation have set the stage for yet another repeat performance.

Anthony Goicolea "Channel No.5, 2022" Oil on raw linen canvas, 132 x 127 cm
Anthony Goicolea, "Travelers, 2020" Oil on raw linen canvas, Variable dimensions
Anthony Goicolea, "The director, 2022" Graphite on Mylar mounted on oak museum board, 35.5 x 28 cm
Anthony Goicolea, "Desk Set, 2022" Oil on raw linen canvas, 50.5 x 50.5 cm
Anthony Goicolea, "Three-eyed Cyclopse (After Sylvia von Harden), 2022" Acrylic and graphite on frosted Mylar film 86 x 71 cm
Anthony Goicolea, "Winged Nike, 2022" Graphite on Mylar mounted on oak museum board, 35.5 x 28 cm