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Georg Gatsas, Five Points

James Fuentes LLC
55 Delancey Street, between Allen and Eldridge, 212-577-1201
East Village / Lower East Side
January 30 - March 2, 2008
Reception: Wednesday, February 6, 6 - 8 PM
Web Site

James Fuentes LLC is pleased to announce Georg Gatsas’ solo exhibition, Five Points. For this project Gatsas’ photographic portraits and landscapes focus on the locales around the gallery, an area formerly known as the Five Points. In the early 19th century this area became synonymous with defining the American slum. Gatsas’ New York relates to a trajectory of images going as far back as Jacob Riis’s “How the other half lives”, whose photographs of the blight of this neighborhood prompted city officials to tear most of the Five Points down between 1885 and 1895, and more recently Christopher Wool’s “East Broadway Breakdown” (2003). Gatsas is from Switzerland and currently resides in New York City. Five Points punctuates the first year of exhibitions at James Fuentes LLC, several of which have actively engaged the environment surrounding the gallery.

“New York’s Chinatown and Bowery has become the last resort for artists, music-makers, and other night dwellers for affordable living in Manhattan. It’s a neighborhood that still preserves the spirit, beauty, and rawness of Downtown Manhattan that has been overrun by corporate symbols, new irrational laws, and a chain of new buildings that nowadays serve as a playground for hedge fund managers and their peers. ‘The Five Points’ neighborhood and its close territories are still a font of creative energy for artists and musicians, a place where chaos is consistent with order, a site for cheap deli stores and Asian restaurants, a spot for hidden gambling places and whorehouses. My exhibition at James Fuentes LLC is Five Points. It focuses—as the title says—on this district and its inhabitants. I present a series of portrait pictures, combined with street pictures and landscapes, all taken either on the way to Manhattan’s last non-gentrified area, or in it. Most of them are shot at night—my favorite time to stroll around the dimly lit streets of the Bowery. Pictures for the Chinatown project—and at large—are fragments of my life. They are pieces of people, friends, artists that I’ve spent time with, that have inspired me, and helped me whenever necessary. These photographs provide a vivid diary, a colorful remembrance of past times. They are intimate glimpses into our lives, the opposite of the general industrial lifestyle that most people are leading today. Life is about chances, risk, change, and diving for pearls. I think that’s the reason why my work is mystifying and poses questions. I have been working with slide projectors recently and it has become the perfect medium to present my photographs. Slide shows enforce the content, aesthetic, and narrative element of my pictures. An intensifying component of Five Points will be a soundtrack, Norbert Möslang’s remix of a live recording of several songs by Lizzi Bougatsos and Sadie Laska’s new band called I.U.D.” – Georg Gatsas
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