The last chance to view Xavier Nuez's luminous, gritty urban photographs titled Alleys and Ruins at Elmhurst College's Frick Center is Thursday, Oct. 17.
Nuez ventures into a city’s bleakest neighborhoods to take his photographs, finding inspiration, peace and refuge where none should exist.
With a family history of homelessness, Nuez developed a need to create monuments out of shunned spaces and dignify what has been rejected. While out shooting his photographs, Nuez has been chased by gangs, accosted by drug addicts and held at gunpoint. But this hasn’t stopped him from creating his vibrantly lit photographs, filling the derelict landscapes with a sense of life and emotion that are both positive and inspiring.
The images are shot mostly at night using a 50-year-old Hasselblad film camera. During the 10- to 30-minute exposures, Nuez shines various colored lights on different parts of the scene, adding color and texture to the typically drab locations.
“I find Xavier Nuez’s work amazing and compelling on so many levels,” says Suellen Rocca, curator and director of exhibits at Elmhurst College. “I am so very pleased to be able to bring his photographs to our campus.”
Nuez lives in Chicago. His photographs have been featured in exhibitions in museums and galleries internationally, including the Illinois State Museum in Chicago, 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.
Source: Elmhurst College