When Queens-based artist Gerard Gaskin applied for the Light Work residency, he explained that he had eight years and five projects worth of images that had never been realized as prints. He’s just been too busy making images to devote much time to digitizing and then making prints from his film. The residency will give him the chance to finally engage this process.
Gaskin’s work includes series such as Trinidad’s Artists, portraits of colleagues from Gaskin’s country of birth, and The Beach, which investigates visual ideas surrounding hip hop music and videos. In between work on these series, Gaskin has found the time to freelance for publications such as King, Vibe, The Source, Newsday, and The New York Times as well as for Def Jam Records and JMJ Records.
Gaskin arrived in Syracuse with a box of his favorite paper and a selection of images to begin scanning immediately. He will begin with images from the series Lefrak City, which depicts some of the over 30,000 residents of the housing development in Queens where Gaskin grew up and where he still lives. In the process of documenting the diversity of people who make up this community, Gaskin found himself on a search to rediscover his own personal experience with immigrating to America. According to the artist, “This is a diverse neighborhood where immigrants from all over the world come to make a better life for themselves, just like my parents did 35 years ago. So I am looking inside of those eyes I photograph and asking, ‘Where is Gerard, that young child from Trinidad?'”
Gaskin holds a BA in Liberal Arts from Hunter College in New York City. His art has been exhibited in venues including Space Gallery in New York City, A Center for Contemporary Art in Newark, NJ, and the Chattanooga African American Museum. His images are in the permanent collections of The Museum of the City of New York, The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and the Queensborough Community College Art Gallery.