Samuel Gonzalez Jr. Photo by Lindzee Meltzer.
“There is no true terror in the bang, only the anticipation of it.” — Alfred Hitchcock
Hitchcock’s wisdom provided the inspiration for the concept of “CATASTROPHE,” a month-long exhibition of elaborately staged, large-scale, dark-toned photos created by undergraduate Film alum Samuel Gonzalez Jr. opening today (Jan. 28) at the ArcLight Theaters in Hollywood.
The 30 photographs on display in the theater lobby through March 28 juxtapose surrealist images illustrating the turmoil of the human condition against period landscapes, all the while alluding to humanity’s relationship to the artificiality of a heightened cinematic experience. The psychological narrative animating the photos informs the show’s subtextual ideas about the collision between film and reality. Gonzalez’ eerie pieces blend beauty with horror, love with betrayal and truth with despair, suggesting an open world of endless interpretations and possibilities.
Gonzalez has gained an intimate understanding of this particular confluence of ideas, after spending much of his life creatively interpreting the world around him to create new opportunities for himself. As a young Army recruit stationed in Iraq, Gonzalez’ deployed a creative outlet to offset the stress of combat by starting a rock band called Madison Avenue (after the ironically named path on which his barracks were built). That experience paved the way (financially) for him to attend Art Center’s film department and has since provided the inspiration for the mini-series he’s currently developing with one of Hollywood’s most powerful producers.