Jeffrey Gomez, a senior fine arts major, often walks the streets of Manhattan in search of light within the darkness. He passes by window-fronts and strolls through doorways with an appreciation for their potential to become fascinating film photography.
Until Nov. 24, Gomez featured these snapshots taken on city sidewalks in his exhibition, “Out Lost In My Head” in the sculpture gallery. He described the show’s theme as “getting lost in the city,” where he frequently visits to escape Long Island’s boredom.
His art provides an opportunity to join him on his journeys. He avoids titling his photos, and leaves the interpretation up to those who find personal meaning within them.
“The body of work speaks for itself. I’m of the mindset that the title, and even an artist’s statement sometimes, will distract what people [see] in the piece,” Gomez said. They want to experience it for themselves. They’ll already have some preconceived notion of what it might be, instead of their first initial reaction.”
Popular among the exhibit crowd was a photo taken in Greenwich Village, the city’s epicenter for 1960s counterculture. Filling most of the frame is the back end of an ice-cream truck where the sliding glass window reveals a reflection of marshmallow-like clouds against the backdrop of a pale sky.
“It has fluorescent light on one side, and then you have the natural light on the other side. So, it [the light] breaks the frame down in the middle,” Gomez said.
“And at the top, is the little ice-cream cone in the corner to make it fun,” Chris Saccente, a fellow photo enthusiast and friend of Gomez, said.
The photo featured in the exhibition poster is Gomez’s favorite. A single light illuminates the doorway below it, allowing the color of midnight to frame the picture’s perimeter. He’s drawn to it because it’s darker than the others.
“All I’m looking for is light; a lack thereof, or the abundance of,” Gomez said. Only two of the photos on display were taken with the help of a flash.
His signature technique isn’t a particular lens, filter, or shutter speed, he walks with his camera into the early hours of the morning looking for the beauty in the banal.
“I walk all over the place; stay away from the bigger avenues. I just walk, and walk, and walk, and walk around. Up and down, to midtown, downtown, and back up again,” he said.
Alex Greco, a friend of Gomez since elementary school admires the photo of a storefront to what looks like a bodega with yellowish-green paneled doors held ajar.
“[The photo] invites us into his perspective of the world with a color palette that is timeless,” Allison Rufrano, photography professor said.
Gomez transferred to Post in fall 2017, and fellow B.F.A. students and professors are saddened to see him move on.“We all know him well, and that’s because he cares a lot about the artistic community here at LIU Post,” Rufrano said. “He is a multi talented artist working with various media which include painting, sculpture, printmaking and photography. We are very lucky at LIU Post Photo to know and work with Jeff.”