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Ken Gonzales-Day, The Wonder Gaze (St. James Park), 2013, Lighjet print, 40.25 x 80 in.

Ken Gonzales-Day’s interdisciplinary and conceptually grounded photographic projects consider the history of photography, the construction of race, and the limits of representational systems.  Gonzales-Day is a Getty scholar and a Terra Foundation and Smithsonian Museum fellow.  In 2018, he was the subject of a solo exhibition at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.  A former Chair and current professor of art at Scripps College, Gonzales-Day’s exhaustive research and book "Lynching in the West, 1850-1935" led to a re-evaluation of the history of lynching in this country. The book shed light on the little-known history of frontier justice and vigilantism and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. The Erased Lynchings series of photographs was a product of this research, which revealed that race was a contributing factor in California's own history of lynching and vigilantism, and through which he discovered that the majority of victims were Mexican or, like him, Mexican-American.  Gonzales-Day takes the same scholarly approach to his ongoing Profiled series, which looks to the depiction of race and the construction of whiteness in the representation of the human form as points of departure from which to consider the evolution and transformation of Enlightenment ideas about beauty, class, freedom, and progress. The series was awarded the first P.A.C. Prize (Photo Arts Council) by LACMA and documented in a handsome monograph. It is Gonzales-Day’s continual engagement with history and his interest in peeling back the layers that makes his work so powerful and continuously relevant.

Profiled
Profiled
Constellations
Constellations
Run Up
Run Up
Erased Lynching
Erased Lynching
In Search of California Hang Trees
In Search of California Hang Trees
Portraits
Portraits
Bone-Grass Boy
Bone-Grass Boy
Surface Tension
Surface Tension
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