A Stomping Ground for Goicolea’s Band of Merry Pranksters


Under dripping, cum-like clouds, three boys stand among a grove of evergreen trees, their outstretched arms holding a prone boy like a casualty-turned-offering. In this scene from one of Anthony Goicolea’s recent drawings, the figure’s inert body mirrors an effigy burned at a bonfire in Kidnap, his video installation, which tells the story of a boy obsessed with being abducted. Housed inside a woodshed replete with farm tools and hay, the video becomes a self-made fairy tale where the protagonist’s fear of being stolen from his home evolves into an anarchic fantasy played out in the woods.

A recurring motif in these computer-driven videos and photographs, which feature the artist rendered in replica, is the enchanted forest—the primary stomping ground for Goicolea’s ever merry band of pranksters, who, in these newer works, only vaguely resemble the artist. In part this is because they are masked and hooded, but the real difference lies in Goicolea’s increased interest in drawing, a less exacting medium, though one he still approaches with a digital mind-set, grafting images together from collage-like layers of acrylic, ink, and graphite on Mylar. More liminal and awkward than their photographic counterparts, the figures in these handmade composites still get up to the same old tricks, roving through wild groves and open fields, where they stop only to build temporary shelters: tree houses, lean-tos, and makeshift forts. Goicolea’s photographs, shown alongside the video and drawings, complement rather than dominate the exhibition, a strategic move, perhaps, given their now formulaic success. Indeed, by refusing to churn out what the collectors want, Goicolea proves his independence as well as his chops: a brave move that would make his rebellious boys proud.