As a child, its easy to let imagination explain the unknown elements of the adult world. The subconscious is ripe, unabashed, willing to construct a bizarre logic. A similar self-absorption governs the strange dreamlands of Anthony Goicoleas photographs, paintings, and drawings in his new book, Fictions (Twin Palms, $75).
Early in his career, Goicolea used himself as a subject, cloning his image multiple times to create menacing troops amid surreal, mythic backdrops. In Fictions, Goicolea is excluded as a subject, but the horizons of his fabulous dystopias are consistent. These landscapes are either painted and drawn in loose, accumulated strokes or constructed from digitally altered photographs. In some, flushed pretty boys and boyish girls congregate in barracks, campgrounds, and tree houses, all of which seem temporary and precarious.
Ive always been interested in transitional spaces and themes of migration versus permanence, says Goicolea. I see these structures in my work as semblances of a protective shell. This impermanence is juxtaposed with established and antiquated narratives such as baptisms, hunting, and camping, which are sometimes injected with sinister elements (e.g., injuries, rat infestations) rendered in steely hues. The pathology of tradition becomes stale and pervertedas if youre having high tea in an irrational fever dream.