Kris Mendoza: Communion

Brick Aux Gallery presents
Communion
by Kris Mendoza
at Brick Aux Gallery – 628 Metropolitan Ave
May 2-25, 2024

Opening Reception May 2

Artist Conversation May 13

Closing Reception May 25

Communion is an ongoing body of photographs that explore spaces of refuge within my queer community. The title, Communion, is a reference to the intimate exchanges captured in the work. Last summer, I started creating photographs with a simple set of parameters: I could only use natural light, close friends, not strangers, incorporate the natural environment and work exclusively in black and white. Initially, these parameters were heavily influenced by the works of twentieth-century artists, George Platt Lynes and PaJaMa, with whom I shared a spiritual connection through their careful attention to light, form and space. Perhaps most meaningful is the personal nature of the photographs. Likewise, I share the desire of finding meaning within my own experiences and relationships, pulling from these references as a means of exploring refuge through community and its perennial relevance to queer life.

The people featured in the images: Johnny Williams, Jason Pérez, Liony García, Peter Redmond, Long Cheng, Kyle Sullivan, Nico Fernandez-Kiray, Sammy Eath

Kris Mendoza

Kris Mendoza (b. 1992), a self-taught photographer and visual artist living in Brooklyn, NY, dives into an obsession for preserving time and creating staged vignettes, often with a highly-compositional nature. Since graduating with a BFA in design in 2015, Mendoza has looked to self-portraiture and writing to explore issues of masculinity, sexuality and identity. In mid-2020, just after moving to New York City, Mendoza started documenting his family, friends and lovers as a means of navigating both the pandemic and finding meaning within the feeling of lost time. Through this, he found his preferred medium of black and white film, usually inside a medium or large-format camera. Recently, Mendoza’s work explores refuge and self-inquiry, drawing on intimate experiences and constructed scenes that reveal the hidden dynamics of relationships as they evolve in his life. 

Find them: @krismendoza_

Curator’s Note:

Kris Mendoza’s solo exhibition Communion immediately struck me as a thoughtful collection art objects that contain stories and welcome connection. Each carefully selected image depicts layers of connectivity – within the self, within community, with nature, with comfort. I am in a constant state of thinking about how the Aux Gallery is a front-facing and impactful representation of the artistry and values of the entire organization. When I consider the artists who present me with ideas, who work in such a variety of mediums and forms, I am hoping to feel something, first and foremost. And after that, I am hoping to desire to zoom in and out of the art, to have narratives or relationships reveal themselves to me right away and over time (thus the meaningfulness of a longer exhibition) and to feel the importance of the moment held within the art objects as relates to the moment in time at the gallery. And into that zone, invite the audiences of The Brick, the neighbors surrounding us in Williamsburg and those wandering, searching for connection. Kris’s beautiful accumulation of black and white photographs check all of these hard to define boxes. When I know, I KNOW. And that feels incredible. The concept behind the images allowed me another layer of understanding, but I already knew it before being told. Two Boys on a Perch gave me the sense of the long and winding conversation that goes beyond even the moment of being alive and Two Sunbathers reminded me to take some time to bask in the warmth and safety of queer vibes. That is the power of the work. The connectivity of the queer community. The importance of communion. I am delighted to have the world of Kris’s art be the world I engage with every day.

Theresa Buchheister, Artistic Director, The Brick

Special thanks: Queer Art Fest, Busboy, Peter Remond, Justin Reyes, Photo Lab NYC, Borough Photo

Brick Aux Gallery hours are 12-6PM on weekends, varied weekday hours, and by appointment: theresa@bricktheater.com

Back to Top