BY TAMMY SCILEPPI
Doesn’t it seem as if life and outside forces often get in the way? If you can relate to that feeling of utter frustration, you should experience “Life Interrupted,” an edgy, conversation-sparking and thought-provoking photo exhibition focused on lives drastically altered by circumstance.
Curated by Long Island City photo artist Orestes Gonzalez, it’s now on view at LIC-A/The Plaxall Gallery, 5-25 46th Ave. in Long Island City through Sunday, Feb. 16.
Some of the photographers selected have appeared in Aperture, Time Magazine, The New York Times and The Washington Post, among others. Other Queens artists include Alain Licari, Jaime Bautista and Susan Saunders.
“It has been an ever-existing condition of my photography work to listen to stories of people and their life journeys. These stories have always filled me with curiosity and have influenced my way of photographing the narratives that I find important,” Gonzalez said in a statement.
“One constant that I’ve found is the ambiguity of fate in people’s lives. No matter how well-planned you try to live your life, life always has other plans for you. It is these disruptions that our artists so brilliantly interpret here. We invite you to witness how people, for the most part, maneuver these life interruptions with strength, humor and dignity.”
An amazing documentary photographer based in the Rio Grande Valley, Texas, Verónica G Cárdenas was voted one of 30 top photojournalists for 2019 by Time Magazine. Her project, “La Ultima,” documents the last days of a group of trans women waiting in a makeshift shelter in Tijuana, seeking asylum at the San Ysidro Port of Entry in California.
Susan Rosenberg Jones’ work centers on home and community. What does it mean to be home, and to whom do we feel connected? Sadly, the artist’s mostly tranquil life was interrupted when after 32 years of marriage, her first husband passed away after a long illness. Her series, “Second Time Around,” chronicles her new partner’s daily “adventures.”
Queens-based artist Ann Romero de Córdoba’s series, “Motherhood,” reveals what everyday life is like for a new mom.
“After having my daughter, I also soon realized how difficult it was to leave my home to make artwork. Most of my photographs previously had been about going outside myself to make work, yet here I was confined to a 900-square-foot apartment in Queens,” Córdoba said in a statement.
“Thus, I began to dramatize the mundane moments of my life with a baby inside my home. I also realized that it wasn’t pregnancy that was hard, as everyone imagines, but the first 12 months afterward. This current work aims to construct a narrative about my inner life and my new relationship with my baby in those months. At times mundane, and in many moments magical, I found strength and solace in the new life that I watched grow before my eyes.”
“Long Island City Artists is very pleased to have Orestes Gonzalez back to curate his second photography exhibition at The Plaxall Gallery. Orestes is an accomplished photographer who is also a pillar of the LIC community,” said gallery director Norma Homberg. “Orestes actively gives his time to enrich LIC and the greater NYC community.”
The curator’s ongoing series, titled “Disruption,” came about from stories he was told during his annual travels or ones he has experienced by personally knowing the subject. His stylized images all accompany true narratives of interrupted lives and their corresponding hardships.
“As a curator, I am developing opportunities for top quality photo exhibits in the Queens area, something that was historically lacking for a long time,” Gonzalez noted. “The Plaxall Gallery has generously allowed us to bring these types of exhibits to the Queens art scene. We hope to continue offering more exposure to camera-based artists from Queens and beyond in the near future.”
Gonzalez’s works are in several important collections, including: The Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art and New York City’s Mayor’s Office.
Art-lovers can visit the exhibition on Thursdays from 6 to 10 p.m., as well as Saturdays and Sundays, from noon to 5 p.m. For more information, visit www.licartists.org.