Dark, Dangerous Alleys are Photographer Xavier Nuez's Inspiration -- Exhibition at Museum of the Living Artist

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Late at night, and despite their danger, Nuez roams the alleys and abandoned corners of cities like Detroit, New York, Chicago and Los Angeles looking for inspiration. He's been chased by gangs and held at gun point, but his family history of homelessness has produced in him a need to create monuments out of these irrelevant places.

They are dark, dangerous places where you are warned not to go. But for photographer Xavier Nuez, bleak urban settings are his inspiration and second home. For many years, late at night he has ventured into some of the country's most threatening corners, frequently leading to trouble. Whether it is an eerie alley in Compton, California, an inner-city ruin in Detroit, or a dead-end back-lot in Brooklyn, his pilgrimage has a purpose.

A selection of Nuez's photographs will be featured in an exhibition at the Museum of the Living Artist in the San Diego Art Institute in San Diego, California, that opens March 20, 2009.

"I've been chased by violent street gangs, accosted by crazed addicts and drug dealers, and have been held at gun point. If the police see me lurking in a dark alley, often I am questioned and searched. And yet under these trying conditions, and within the filth and stench of the city's gutters, I find inspiration. With a family history of homelessness and with a belief that I was next, I found the need to create monuments out of these irrelevant places."

Nuez uses three Hasselblad film cameras, two of which are more than 50-years old. To capture the vivid colors in his images, he shoots with battery-powered lights and colored gels that are combined with long exposures, sometimes more than one-hour.

Xavier Nuez's photographs have been featured in solo and group exhibitions in museums and galleries throughout the United States and in Canada, including the Marin Museum of Contemporary Art in California, the Farmington Museum in New Mexico; the Virginia Museum of Transportation in Roanoke; Stanford Art Spaces at Stanford University, California; the Schneider Gallery in Chicago; and the Peak Gallery in Toronto. His work is in numerous public, corporate and private collections, including those of the Norfolk Southern Collection; the Arts Commission of Greater Toledo, Ohio; the University of Richmond Museum in Virginia; the City of East Lansing, Michigan; and the Vicente Fox Center of Studies, Library and Museum in Guanajuato, Mexico.

The exhibition runs through May 10. The museum is located in Balboa Park, 1439 El Prado in San Diego, California. Museum hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10am to 4pm and Sunday, 12pm to 4pm.

Nuez's urban images are on his web site: http://www.nuez.com
Hi-resolution digital images of Nuez's work are available upon request.

Press contacts:
Marc Pickett, Public Relations, SDAI, email: admin2(at)sandiego-art(dot)org phone 619-236-0011
Xavier Nuez. email: x(at)nuez(dot)com phone: 510-648-6810 http://www.nuez.com

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