Across the specific differences among Goicolea’s works, the artist tirelessly excavates human weakness, awkwardness, and discomfort. Toward the end, he returns again and again to his themes of adolescent sexuality, unflinching self-exploration, and the never-ending contest between victims and victimizers. We are torn between the desire to witness these strivers and underdogs evolve gloriously into calm, powerful grown-ups and wanting to observe the Peter Pans as they play out the piercing struggles of adolescence – such apt metaphors for the rest of life’s battles – into eternity.
The sense of foreboding tinged with playful fantasy characteristic of many of my photographs is mimicked in a suite of complex figurative line drawings on mylar. Androgynous figures of indeterminate age float on top of and through each other in a layered composition separated by planes of Plexiglas and semi-opaque vellum paper. The ghostlike figures are caught in free-floating, awkward, transitional states: sometimes their images are doubled; sometimes they seem like as much animal as human. Optically, the figures fade in and out of each other in a series of tentative lines that read like traces of previous drawings and refer to memory and transition. The figures’ relationship to the water’s horizon line seems to shift within a single drawing. This horizontal reference point separates air from water and reality from fantasy while it transforms the swimmers’ shapes and sizes. This shift mimics the play of light through water, seeming to actually pass through the two worlds and to fracture the figure caught between them. These absurd predicaments strive to provoke conflicting emotions in the viewer. Scenes which would normally appear threatening, dangerous, or grotesque inspire empathy as well as fear, and ultimately are revealed to be more complex than was first assumed.
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