Two pictures from my family recordings


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In mexico you have to take a bite of the cake after you blow the candles. Most of time someone will push you into it  as a joke and your face will get end up covered in frosting. I’ve only been shoved into it like twice.

Today it is my birthday!

Come join me this weekend for my show How this has to be told.

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How this has to be told: Martha Naranjo Sandoval


Martha Naranjo Sandoval

As a teenager, I had the shocking realization that many of my dreams and fantasies were not the products of my own imagination but of films I had seen when I was very young. It unleashed a profound skepticism in me about images and their meaning, but it also allowed me to see how powerful they can be. This haunted me when I relocated to New York and sought solace and grounding in my family’s photo albums. Looking often and repeatedly at pictures of my childhood, they suddenly stopped making sense to me.

“How this has to be told” digs into family photos and mementos to question how much they reveal and how much they silence. Meaning is destabilized as narratives accumulate on the surface of the images across generations and time. Why can’t our family recordings just be images? Why do we burden them with so much responsibility of being something else? The pieces in this show are different responses at the intersection of photography, memory, belonging, and the loss of innocence. This is an invitation to the viewer to not stop at first appearances, to dig deeper into images.

Opening – March 17th, 2016  6:00 – 10:00

By appointment:
Friday 18 and Saturday 19, 11:00 am – 6:00 pm
Sunday 20, 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm

The slideshow will start 5 minutes after every hour.

24-20 Jackson Ave, Third Floor, Long Island City, Queens, 11101

sharing my experience with solo shows and a book publication (part 2)

In late August 2014, I had a chance to collaborate with Jane Kim, a Korean violinist based in New Jersey. A gallerist who saw my work at the Fountain Art Fair in March thought that my photographs would work well with classical music. I made two slideshows to play before and after the first program and a video that was projected while Jane played Debussy’s Clair de Lune.

Since the collaboration was for one night only (August 30), I was looking for a gallery for a solo show. Around that time, I met a Korean gallerist who came to New York for an art fair. A few days later, I ran into her at a Lower East Side gallery and asked if she could recommend me galleries that would be suitable to show my work. She invited me to exhibit at her gallery, Gallery Now because she saw my work in 2011 and then in 2014.

For my solo exhibition at Nabi Museum of the Arts, I displayed my hand-made artist book, “encounters,” which is a 276-inch long accordion book. When the second solo exhibition was scheduled, I was determined to make it about self-publishing books. It was challenging to find a publisher who would do such a laborious job.

Long Island City-based photographer Jungjin Lee advised me to contact Sangyon Joo, the founder of Datz Press which specializes in small edition artist books. I met Ms. Joo in early December and she decided to publish my book in an edition of 100. Since I did most of the design before and there were only few additions, we were able to move forward fairly quickly.

On December 28, I flew to Korea and installed the exhibition next day. The opening reception was on December 30. Despite the holiday season, (In Korea, people celebrate the end of year for almost the whole month of December) I had good number of visitors. I also gave an artist talk which was well attended. My work was featured in February 2015 issue of Photo Plus magazine in Korea.

During the exhibition period (December 30-January 6), I went to the gallery everyday to meet with visitors. In Korea, most photographic works are framed or mounted so people were interested in seeing photo installation with sound. There is something about solo exhibitions that brings viewers much closer to me.

"Nightwalker" installation view Gallery Now, Seoul, Korea

“Nightwalker” installation view at Gallery Now, Seoul, Korea (Dec 30, 2014-Jan 6, 2015)

"Nightwalker" installation view Gallery Now, Seoul, Korea

“Nightwalker” installation view at Gallery Now, Seoul, Korea (Dec 30, 2014-Jan 6, 2015)

"encounters" artist book published by Datz Press in the edition of 100

“encounters” artist book published by Datz Press in edition of 100