A motorbike road trip from San Diego, California, to Mexico City is Lebrija’s latest photographic journey.
Placing himself as the lonely rider, Lebrija constructed identities that spanned the continent, referencing the great American road trip, the frontier cowboy, Mexican macho and hero character. He used the two stainless steel plates on either side of the gas tank – lending the bike the nickname ‘Toaster’ - as mirrors to the landscapes, the reflections of which he photographed along his travels.
His experience performs a rites of passage ritual associated with the journey, the subjectivity of experience and then the wider roles of power and machinery, masculinity and realization, as symbolised by the motorbike. As Carlos Ashida and Baudelio Lara note in their accompanying essay, ‘this series of photographs recreates several of his plastic obsessions: the use of cars and machines in general, as materializations of phallic power; metallic reflections as a way to filter and sublimate his fetishistic obsessions; his inclination to recreate ancient myths by means of modern artifacts and resources.’
Published on the occasion of the exhibition R75/5 Toaster at Galerie Laurent Godin, Paris, 2008.
Gonzalo Lebrija was born in Mexico City in 1972 and obtained a BFA in Science of Communication at the Instituto Tecnológico de Estudios Superiores de Occidente (ITESO) in 1998. He lives and works in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Recent solo exhibitions include Lights On, I-20 Gallery, New York, USA, 2003; Gonzalo Lebrija, Pynercontreras Gallery, London, UK, 2005; The Damage is Done, I-20 Gallery, New York, 2007 and Gonzalo Lebrija, Laurent Godin, Paris, France, 2008. Group exhibitions include Clusterfuck, Latch Gallery, Los Angeles, California, USA, 2003; So Far So Close, The Americas Society, New York, USA, 2004; Eco, Mexico, Museo de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain, 2005; El Desollado, National Art Museum of China, Beijing, China, 2006; Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, UK, 2007 and The Future is but the Obsolete in Reverse, Galerie Michael Janssen, Cologne, Germany, 2008.