A new exhibit, “Face to Face: Ken Gonzales-Day,” presenting the photography of artist Ken Gonzales-Day, opens Friday, Oct. 6, at the Claremont Lewis Museum of Art.
An opening reception will be held 6-9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7, at the museum, which is in the historic Claremont Depot at 200 W. First St.
Gonzales-Day, an art professor at Claremont’s Scripps College since 1995, has been exploring the history of race and its representation for more than two decades. The exhibition juxtaposes two overlapping bodies of work, “Pandemic Portraits: and “Profiled.”
The exhibition, curated by Seth Pringle, begins with the “Pandemic Portraits” series, which Gonzales-Daybegan producing during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. The portraits are mostly of artists, actors, arts professionals, dancers, models and writers.
Gonzales-Day operated within the limits of social distancing protocols in order to create connections, some with old friends, some new. The resulting images may feature only a single subject, but they represent a commitment to co-existence, according to a news release.
The second body of work, “Profiled,” features photographs taken in the storage facilities of the Smithsonian Institution’s American Art Museum, National Museum of Natural History and National Portrait Gallery in 2014 as an examination of the ways that beauty, race and human difference were seen in the 19th and early 20th centuries. This research-based photographic project demonstrates a critical approach to history and suggests the importance of reconsidering these objects and the legacies from which they came, according to the news release.