American Payroll Association

James Gonzalez called over two years ago with the intent of showing us his images to see if we’d be interested in presenting an exhibit of his work in FOTOSEPTIEMBRE USA. Back then, his portfolio included a smattering of very well composed images of a wide variety of subjects. We felt that his images showed promise but we were not seeing the cohesiveness or consistency necessary for a well produced exhibit. We saw several abstracted images we felt were a strong suit, and asked him to produce a series of photographs in that vein. He came back a year ago with even more images to show us. We again asked him to further refine and develop his work. Earlier this year, he presented us with an accomplished, cohesive body of work, well suited for an exhibit, which we agreed to curate and include as part of our Signature Exhibit series.

He then proceeded to find a venue for his work, in this case the American Payroll Association – San Antonio Learning Center, which has a respectable track record of providing exhibition space, promotions, and receptions for local artists.

Thus, Pictures Without A Story, an exhibit of images by James Gonzalez, the second in our series of 2009 Signature Exhibits, and another example of our festival’s commitment to developing local, talented image-makers.

In James Gonzalez’s words: Most of my photographs are in the city or in the suburbs because this is where I live. And though that environment may seem at odds with anything “spiritual”, I see the magic alongside or embedded in the concrete and the manufactured, in leaves and in water, in the sky or in shadows, inside my house or inside my car—everywhere.

Some of my pictures are experimental. It’s my belief that a camera has a unique ability to distort reality leaving for the viewer a piece of that real magic. In magic, this is called an optical illusion, like looking at a swirling disk and then looking away and watching objects and people expand. But instead, my photographs are stretched, blurred, and distorted to begin with, and what is left, is an essence of that magical experience.

James Gonzalez, featured artist in the Pictures Without A Story, FOTOSEPTIEMBRE USA Signature Exhibit at the American Payroll Association.

General view of the Pictures Without A Story exhibit.

View from the rear of the exhibit hallway.

One of the tryptichs in James Gonzalez’s exhibit.

Another tryptich in the exhibit.

Detail of the Pictures Without A Story exhibit.

Another of the tryptichs.

James Gonzalez and his wife Roseena.

Opening reception exhibit viewers.

Fred Whitecotton, San Antonio College Journalism Department photography instructor. Fred was James Gonzalez’s photography teacher at SAC many years ago, and is glad to see the progress of his erstwhile student.

Paul and Marilyn Casperson, devoted FOTOSEPTIEMBRE USA exhibit attendees for many years, discussing the images in the exhibit.

Viewing public at the opening reception.

Jeffrey Dyer and Jerry Craft, longtime friends and supporters of FOTOSEPTIEMBRE USA.

Richard and Carla Veliz. Richard is a renowned music producer and Carla is an internationally recognized artist. They are now collectors of James Gonzalez’s work.

Roseanne White getting the lowdown on the images in James Gonzalez’s Pictures Without A Story exhibit.

Erika Hurst, Public Relations Coordinator for the American Payroll Association. For several years we have seen how Erika cheerfully interacts with artists, helps them install exhibits, and promotes their work. She was born with a smile.

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