Sign Up for Our Newsletter
Xavier Nuez
1932 S. Halsted St. #404, Chicago, IL  60608
(510) 648-6810

  Owner/Operator: Xavier Nuez
Primary Medium: Photography
Contact the gallery

Alleys & Ruins
Long after dark, I venture into bleak urban settings, seeking out their elusive splendor. With the city humming in the background, I find inspiration, peace and refuge where none should exist.

My determined and intense outings often lead to journeys into dangerous neighborhoods, at times resulting in trouble. I've run from street gangs, been accosted by crazed drug addicts, and have had guns pointed at me. If the police see me lurking in a dark alley, I am often questioned and searched.

With a family history of homelessness, I developed a need to create monuments out of these shunned spaces. Although positive, life-affirming perceptions are not usually associated with acute urban blight, I feel compelled to dignify what has been rejected.

The images in the series are shot in a mostly traditional manner. The photographs are taken at night, using a 50 year old Hasselblad film camera. During the 10 to 30 minute exposures, I walk around with various (colored) lights and shine them on different parts of the scene, adding color and texture to the typically drab locations.

Xavier Nuez' photographs have been featured in solo and group exhibitions in museums and galleries internationally, including the Illinois State Museum in Chicago, IL; the Marin Museum of Contemporary Art in California; the Attleboro Art Museum in Massachusetts; the San Diego Art Institute; and Galerie Lichtblick in Cologne, Germany.

The New York Times has called his Alleys & Ruins series a "masterpiece." His work is in numerous public, corporate and private collections, including those of the University of Richmond Museum in Virginia; the University of Michigan; the Norfolk Southern Collection; the Vicente Fox Center Library and Museum in Guanajuato, Mexico; Mr. Danny DeVito; and Ms. Angela Lansbury.
Click thumbnails to enlarge.