Anthony Goicolea: Park Pictures

Twice a year, the NCMA brings new eye candy to the trails of the Museum Park. This spring, we invite you to enjoy the most recent iteration of our popular billboards project, Park Pictures. We’ve mentioned the Park Pictures here on the blog ever since their inception in 2009  and we’re happy to celebrate our fourth round, with three new “billboards” installed along the paved walking trails. Commissioned by the Museum to encourage visitors to explore the art available in the Museum Park, these billboards change regularly to feature new works by different artists.

Last fall, Raleigh artist Nancy S. Baker shook things up by riffing on three popular paintings from the NCMA’s American collection. This spring, we highlight three photographic works by Brooklyn artist Anthony Goicolea. Goicolea’s billboards coordinate nicely with the solo exhibition of his works, Alter Ego: A Decade of Work by Anthony Goicolea, which will be on view in the East Building through July 24. The artist has long been interested in fabricating images of new, fantastical spaces that are familiar yet strange, enticing yet unsettling. The photographs the artist chose for Park Pictures stem from a series examining issues of environmental destruction, globalization, and the influence of humanity on the world at large. In addition to being inspired by the world around him, Goicolea also takes cues from art history. As he notes, “I’m influenced by the tradition of the sublime in 19th-century American landscape paintings,” much as Nancy Baker had been in our previous billboard series. Goicolea continues, “My series of photographs treat their environments as hyper-exaggerated frontiers … providing physical evidence and visual proof of an ongoing past narrative.”

Guardian features a snowy scene, completely populated by dogs that dwell amid the ruins of a colorful town. As such, it contrasts starkly with the verdant, lush surroundings of the Museum Park in springtime. Guardian can be seen in a different context in Alter Ego. Similarly, Ocean and Ghost Ship reveal water-based scenes that contrast with the types of landscapes in the Museum Park itself. Overall, the artist noted that his rationale for choosing images for Park Pictures was simple: “I thought it would be interesting to present a landscape within a landscape.” The novelty of the Park Pictures project was certainly an enticement for the artist. “I have never had any outdoor work presented before, but it has always been a bit of a fantasy of mine! I love the idea, and I am excited to see the billboards actualized.”

Anthony Goicolea, Guardian, 2008, digital print on vinyl. Photo credit: twbuckner via the NCMA Flickr group.

This work, made possible by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, is part of an ongoing series of outdoor art projects, Art Has No Boundaries, commissioned by the NCMA to encourage visitors to actively explore the Museum Park.

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