• Georg Gatsas

    Date posted: December 5, 2007 Author: jolanta
    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. Image

    Georg Gatsas is a Swiss artist who lives and works in New York. His show Five Points will be on view at James Fuentes LLC in January.

     
    Image
    Georg Gatsas, American Flag, 2007.

    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. It’s also the home and working place of many friends of mine, for example multimedia artists and musicians Lizzi Bougatsos and Brian DeGraw, or avant-garde guitar player Mick Barr.
     
    My next 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 since my exhibition The Process IV at the Swiss Institute last spring, 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 song by Lizzi Bougatsos and Sadie Laska’s new band called I.U.D.

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