212Gallery is pleased to present a group of six new large-scale sculptural works by Mark Gonzales (b. 1969). This exhibition marks the first time this series of mirror poems has been on view since its unveiling at Los Angeles MoCA's historic survey of street art (Art in the Streets, 2011).
In this body of work, a synthesis occurs between Gonzales' trademark linguistic and physical modes of expression. Gonzales' poetry, simultaneously impulsive and profound, is energetically rendered in spray paint on the slick surfaces of six prodigious mirrors. The epodic exploration of various themes using “automatic spelling” and oft-invented syntax as seen in Gonzales' countless self-published zines is revisited in these monumental works.
Though it is Gonzales' dynamically-executed verse that elicits pause and demands closer study, the corporeal qualities of these works quickly seduce. In a colloquial nod to "skate culture", Gonzales' use of spray paint suggests reclamation of the raw graffiti-style text that is so often associated with skating. By way of the monumental and uniquely architectural ground, the viewer is allowed – forced, perhaps – to physically occupy the space around the art and the art object itself, thereby merging the acts of creation and experience – and conflating the roles of artist and patron.
Mark Gonzales began his professional skateboarding career 30 years ago; a legendary athlete, Gonzales went "pro" in his early teens. Gonzales has always been a prolific art-maker and writer, and first began showing his work in the early 1990s. He has had solo exhibitions at museums and galleries in Japan, Germany France, the United Kingdom, Brazil, and the Netherlands, in addition to New York and Los Angeles. This is Gonzales' first show in Aspen.