Ken Gonzales-Day (born 1964, Santa Clara, CA) is an American artist living and working in Los Angeles best known for his photo-based conceptual projects exploring identity and the construction of race.
Early life and education
Born in 1964 in Santa Clara, CA to mixed race parents Gonzales-Day spent his childhood in Northern California and Idaho. In early adulthood he moved to New York and earned his BFA from Pratt Institute in 1987 and his MA from Hunter College in 1991. In 1992, after graduating from Hunter, he spent a year at the Whitney Museum of American Art in the Independent Study Program. He moved back to California in the mid 90's where he earned his MFA from the University of California, Irvine in 1995.
Much of Gonzales-Day's work considers the larger political and social representational histories of the Mexican-American experience. His early work draws on the constructed photo methods of artists like Jeff Wall, Cindy Sherman, or Gregory Crewdson. For example, in Bone Grass Boy (1996), Gonzales-Day casts himself as all the central characters in a staged photonovella set during the Mexican American War. In a later series entitled Erased Lynchings (2004-2006), Gonzales-Day explores the history of lynching in the American West by appropriating and digitally altering an archive of 19th and 20th century postcards that depict Mexican and Mexican-American lynchings.
- Meyers, Holly (February 13, 2011). "In the Studio: Ken Gonzales-Day". LA Times. Retrieved March 9, 2014.
- Gonzales, Rita (2008). Phantom Sightings Catalogue. Los Angeles: LACMA. p. 163. ISBN 978-0-520-25563-0.
- Fox, Henry (2008). Phantom Sightings Catalogue. LACMA. p. 160. ISBN 978-0-520-25563-0.
- Berger, Maurice (December 6, 2012). "Lynchings in the West". New York Times lens blog. Retrieved March 9, 2014.