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Opening Reception: Gary Goldberg: Magical Realism

April 5, 5:00 pm7:00 pm

Gary Goldberg’s artwork evokes a world beyond the apparent. Mythological creatures and magical, surreal landscapes appear to him in the layered walls of Oaxaca City, Mexico. In the last eight years he’s been translating these photographs into large felted textiles, but, he says, it’s taken him until recently to see it in a way that’s truly his own.

It happened one day in Oaxaca. “It was one of those ‘Oh my god’ moments,” says Goldberg, who is Professor Emeritus of Art at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas, and recently retired from teaching after thirty-seven years. “I turned and looked at this wall and I saw it as a human or mythical figure. Some appeared as a landscape—and then I could not stop seeing them.”

So began his quest to document a world beyond quotidian perception. Goldberg begins his works by photographing large expanses of textured walls in and around Oaxaca city. He then translates them into large-scale felted textiles in collaboration with a team of expert artisans at the Centro de las Artes de San Agustín (CASA), with whom he’s been working for eight years to create more than 100 dry wool needle felted textiles using mostly natural pigments such as Cochineal and Indigo.

This process evolved out of Goldberg’s desire to make his artwork an immersive experience that fills the viewer’s field of vision, and to honor Oaxaca’s rich textile culture. He was inspired to explore textiles after attending an exhibition of the work of Mexican artist Francisco Toledo, who spearheaded the conversion of an old textile mill into CaSa. He was struck by the scale and tonal range that Toledo was able to achieve in his textile pieces. “I was impressed,” Goldberg says of the exhibition. “His imagery was not my imagery, but I wanted to see how this process could translate to my artwork.”


April 5
5:00 pm—7:00 pm
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