Rock & Shadow/Piedra y Sombra, Melanie Gonzalez, 2017-

 Piedra y SombraRock & Shadow 
is a collection of photographs that inspire subsequent print-based, textile and video art.

Piedra y Sombra (Rock and Shadow) is an analog photography series using a riveting multiple exposure camera process. 

The technique I en-root in producing these images has been the catalyst for a diverse assemblage of multimedia projects. In the work, I combine my cultural and family background from Kiskeya and Borínken with my native birthplace, NYC, and beyond.

Castle on the Concourse, a vertical landscape banner printed on cotton canvas in 2019, tells the story of an overlapping storyline of an almost 300 year-old Brazilian botanical garden, with a now demolished historical landmark building that was once located at 425 Grand Concourse, a 5 story retangular public school building built in 1899 once named P.S. 31. The building, now being replaced by a 277 unit housing complex, showed the transformation out of a side of the glamorous Grand Concourse of The Bronx, that is a true moment in history, now gone. Castle on the Concourse, combining the Bronx and Rio de Janeiro’s beauty, is the inspiration for the “Ascension Guard”, Ascension BJJ’s Academy uniform featured in the Ascension BJJ / Piedra y Sombra Designs rashguard and leggings collection. 

Giardino Bardini is a photograph of an Italian renaissance garden that I discovered in Florence on a scorching hot day. It only recently reopened when I was there! The tiers of gardens, fountains and statues that seemed several stories into the air were a welcome reward for the exhausting trek up the ancient hills. Viewing the architectural diversity was inspiring. Parts had been added onto the gardens from the 17th to the 19th centuries. The terracotta mushroom tops of Italian roofing spanned as far as the eyes could see. 
I had photographed this place and forgot about the film until several years later, when I had scanned the negatives and already begun the black and white series Rock and Shadow of double exposed landscapes + architecture. Surprisingly, this roll of “error” film elatedly fit into the theme of merging building + plant imagery, and classified any color images of this camera process, Piedra y Sombra.

Minnewaska State Park is a long glance at the awe-striking beauty of the Mid-Hudson Valley, namely in New Paltz and Ulster County. This two-way ladder of boulders, shading, foliage and air as the sky breathes through the photograph, was an inspiration for printing large-scale “vertical landscapes”, and presenting these photographs as scrolls of visual information, of chronologies occurring independently of each other and finding a permanent conclusion in the space of the printed work.

(c) 2023 Melanie Gonzalez Art @ | | 347-948-9738. 05-22-2023.

Rock and Shadow, Piedra y Sombra

Rock and Shadow Photo series

Black and white 35mm and 120mm photography. Manipulating camera error and analog film on travels and domestic searches for scenic sites, while also documenting real Uptown landscapes, I've acquired a series of double exposures of scenes in The Bronx complementing or sometimes overlapping with vibrant cities like Rio, Habana, Las Vegas and upstate NY. Experimenting with dense negatives to create textural portraits of foliage, plants, people, architecture, and most evidently nature, as it often is mimicked by industrial cities.


Rock and Shadow/ Piedra y Sombra

Black and white double exposure photography, "Rock and Shadow"

Color film double exposures, "Piedra y Sombra"

Rock & Shadow/ Piedra Y Sombra
Installation views: The ARTVIEWS GALLERY
at Montefiore Fine Art Program and Collection + more.

Piedra y Sombra (Rock and Shadow) by Melanie Gonzalez, Photographer

Montefiore Medical Center Moses Campus, 1st floor
E 210th St entrance, Bronx, NY 10467

Monday, February 24, 2020 1:30 PM Wednesday, April 28, 2021 2:30 PM

Vertical landscapes

Large format banners from the PIEDRA y SOMBRA /ROCK and SHADOW series.

"Highbridge Chihuly Grand Double exposure, 2'x16.5', Melanie Gonzalez, 2018": as seen at Longwood Gallery in 2018, New Roots Community Farm and ChaShaMa's Space to Connect gallery in 2019.





"A photogravure is the most sophisticated of the photomechanical processes... the photographer's negative is transferred onto a copper plate, which is used to print or engrave the image with ink." Source.

"Concrete Factory Hudson", 2018-2019
"Reloj Solear, Santo Domingo", 2018-2019

Background image: "Pandemic  Garden", Bronx, NY 2020,
a double exposure panorama by Melanie Gonzalez Art.

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