Alex Guofeng Cao *China
1969 // Born in China, Alex Guofeng Cao immigrated with his family to the United States in the 1980s. After studying photography at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, Cao continued to explore black and white photography, but with a more digitalized approach. Alex Guofeng Cao came to New York searching for his pursuit, came upon photography, which easily became his passion. Inspired by such masters as Irving Penn, Richard Avedon, Edward Weston, and Robert Mapplethorpe, Cao ceaselessly studied and experimented with all methods and techniques in photography. While adept with color, Cao’s preferred medium is the black and white image. The most recent body of work by Cao is a series of images of popular culture icons. At a glance almost anyone can identify some if not all of the characters in the menagerie of stars. But, upon closer inspection, one can see that these stars are composed of a constellation of tiny repetitive images each slightly differing from its neighbors. The plot thickens as one realizes that there is a play, a dialogue between the chosen characters that inhabit each other. The method of creation for Cao is really that of composing a mosaic of memories into an impression of the present. Impressed and greatly influenced by the ideal forms and proportions of the iconic and statuesque sculptures of the ancient Egypt, Greek and Roman eras, Cao’s works can be said to have their roots in western antiquity. Another great source of inspiration are impressions from his trip a decade ago of the mosaic floors and walls of Naples and Pompeii. It’s the combination of these two base strategies that allows Caos’ works to take shape.