William Owen. “’Profiled’ creates poignant dialogue on race relations.”
Perhaps the most notable piece in the exhibit is “Untitled” (Malvina Hoffman Collection, “Blackfoot Man” at The Field Museum, Chicago, and Jacques−François−Joseph Saly, “Faun Holding a Goat,” The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, 2011).
This work is a lightjet print mounted on Durabond that depicts a statue of a Native American on the left and a white adolescent boy on the right. Wearing only a loincloth, the Native American stands strong and upright. Gonzales−Day beautifully employs light in this photograph to emphasize his chiseled muscular physique.
The statue of the white adolescent is also scantily clad; he is only wearing a leaf. The shadows on his body, however, are less harsh, revealing his much softer build. The young adolescent is slightly lurched back in his stance, as though he is prudently listening to the bold, assertive man standing opposite of him. The Blackfoot Man’s hands are interlocked in a gesture that implies he is giving the boy an order. Gonzales−Day shows how the tables have turned — now it is the white man who is being directed and guided.
Another gem in the museum is a lightjet photograph of Voltaire mounted on aluminum, “Untitled” (“Voltaire,” École des Beaux−Arts, Paris, 2011). The stone statue is highly detailed. Voltaire has a dreamy look in his eyes as he happily gazes downward, his cloak gently resting over his shoulders. Someone has drawn lipstick and a funny moustache on him, and there are scratches all over his forehead. Through this photograph, Gonzales−Day reveals the modern disrespect of the famous thinker. However, Voltaire is seemingly amused by the vandalism, which gives the sense that he’s laughing at our society.
“Profiled” displays Gonzales−Day’s incredible creativity. By using existing works of art, Gonzales−Day meticulously creates both opposition and dialogue that transcend time and space.
Source: The Tufts Daily, 4 Oct. 2011, Medford, MA.