Ken Gonzales-Day is a Los Angeles based artist whose interdisciplinary practice considers the historical construction of race and the limits of representational systems ranging from lynching photographs to museum displays. His widely exhibited Erased Lynching series (2006), along with the publication of Lynching in the West: 1850-1935 (2006), transformed the understanding of racialized violence in the United States and raised awareness of the lynching of Latinos, Native Americans, Asians, along with African-Americans, in California’s early history.
The Searching for California Hang Trees series offered a critical look at the legacies of landscape photography. In downtown Los Angeles, Gonzales-Day extended that research by creating a Walking Tour of Los Angeles Lynching Sites to help introduce visitors to the city’s hidden past.
Works from the Profiled Series have been exhibited internationally and grew out of Gonzales-Day’s research into the history of racial depiction found in historic expositions and educational museum displays on race across the U.S. and Europe. This project considers many of these contested objects as part of the material legacy of slavery, colonialism, imperialism, whiteness, and their place in museum collections today. Gonzales-Day is the Fletcher Jones Chair in Art at Scripps College.
Gonzales-Day received a BFA from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, an MFA from the University of California Irvine, and an MA from Hunter College in NYC. He is a Professor of Art at Scripps College in Claremont, CA. where he has taught since 1995. His work has been widely exhibited including: LACMA, Los Angeles; LAXART, Los Angeles; Tamayo Museum, Mexico City; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; The New Museum, NYC; Generali Foundation, Vienna, among others. In 2017, he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in photography.
(photo by: Wally Skalij)
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