Dark, Dangerous Alleys are Photographer Xavier Nuez’s Inspiration

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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 shunned 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 midnight pilgrimage has a purpose.

A solo exhibition of Nuez’s photographs will be featured at the Indianapolis Art Center in Indianapolis, Indiana, that runs from June 11 to Aug 1, 2010. The opening reception is June 18 from 6-8pm, where the artist will be present. The Center was created in 1934 as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s depression-era New Deal.

And a selection of his photographs will be featured in a show at the Masur Museum of Art in Monroe, Louisiana, that runs from May 22 to July 17, 2010.

“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 shunned places.”

Nuez uses old Hasselblad film cameras over 50 years old. To capture the vivid colors in his images, he brings battery-powered lighting equipment 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 North America, including the San Diego Art Institute; the Farmington Museum in New Mexico; the Marin Museum of Contemporary Art in California; the Florida State University Museum of Art; 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 University of Richmond Museum in Virginia; the Norfolk Southern Collection; the Arts Commission of Greater Toledo, Ohio; the City of East Lansing, Michigan; and the Vicente Fox Center of Studies, Library and Museum in Guanajuato, Mexico.

The IAC is located at 820 E 67th St, Indianapolis, IN. The MMA is located at 1400 South Grand Street in Monroe, LA.

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:
Patrick Flaherty, IAC exhibitions coordinator, email PFlaherty(at)indplsartcenter(dot)org
Evelyn Stewart., MMA Director, email evelyn.stewart(at)ci.monroe.la(dot)us
Xavier Nuez. email: x(at)nuez(dot)com phone: 510-648-6810 http://www.nuez.com

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