Dark, Menacing Alleys & Ruins by Photographer Xavier Nuez are the Subject of a Solo Show at the Instituto Cervantes

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Chased by violent street gangs and crazed drug addicts, Xavier Nuez has compiled a stunning collection of photographs shot in many of the country's most dangerous corners. A solo exhibition of Nuez's Alleys & Ruins series will run at the Instituto Cervantes in Chicago from April 18-July 8, 2013.

I've been chased by violent street gangs and held at gun point, but my family history of homelessness compels me to dignify what’s been rejected.

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. Since 1991, 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 Chicago, he wants to create monuments out of these shunned places.

A solo exhibition of Nuez’s photographs will be featured in the gallery of the Instituto Cervantes, located at 35 W. Ohio St. in Chicago. The show runs from April 18 to July 8, 2013. The opening reception is Thursday, April 18 from 6-9 p.m., with a talk by the artist at 6:30 p.m. The show will feature fifteen large pieces, including three 8x10 foot prints.

The New York Times has called Nuez’s Alleys & Ruins series a “masterpiece.”

“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, I am often 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 dignify what has been rejected.”

Nuez shoots his photographs with 50-year-old Hasselblad film cameras. 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 Illinois State Museum in Chicago; the Marin Museum of Contemporary Art in California; the Attleboro Art Museum in Massachusetts; and the Museum of the Living Artist at the San Diego Art Institute. 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; and the Vicente Fox Center of Studies, Library and Museum in Guanajuato, Mexico.

Press contacts:

Teresa Hernando. teresa.hernando(at)cervantes(dot)org - 312-335-4047

Xavier Nuez. x(at)nuez(dot)com - 510-648-6810 - http://www.nuez.com

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