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We are pleased to announce that the recipient of the Light Work Photobook Award 2019 is Andres Gonzalez for the monograph, American Origami, co-published by Light Work and Fw:Books. We award The Light Work Photobook Award each year to an artistic project that deserves international attention. As with all of Light Work’s programs, our desire in selecting the artists to receive this recognition is to highlight emerging and underrepresented artists of diverse backgrounds.
“American Origami presents an unusual and moving reflection on the complexity of a seemingly endless cycle of gun violence in America—a timely publication that is visually striking, poetic, and painful,” said Light Work Director Shane Lavalette. “We are pleased to present Andres Gonzalez with the Light Work Photobook Award, for this powerful project and are thrilled to collaborate with Fw:Books to co-publish the book this year.”
Andres Gonzalez’s raw project closely examines the epidemic of mass shootings in American schools. His collection of first-person interviews, condolence items, ephemera, and blunt images—made and archival—coalesce in this compelling photobook, depicting a country that violence has sometimes overwhelmed. Gonzalez elaborates, “The varied elements repeat and fold into each other, illuminating the relationship between myth-making and atonement.” Media coverage of American Origami includes All Things Considered (NPR), huck, Le Monde, Photo District News (PDN), and Virginia Quarterly Review (VQR).
Andres Gonzalez is an educator, photographer, and visual artist living in Vallejo, California. His current work synthesizes in-depth research and the poetics of photography, looking for truths behind the fictional, mythic aspects of American history. He is a graduate of Pomona College and received his MA in Visual Communications from Ohio University in 2004. Gonzalez is a Fulbright Fellow and was selected as one of PDN’s 30. He has also received recognition from the Pulitzer Center, the Magenta Foundation, the Alexia Foundation, and his work has been exhibited internationally. Gonzalez participated in Light Work’s Artist-in-Residence program in October 2017.