Jonathan Traviesa is a photographer and artist, who has been living in New Orleans since the late 1990s. He has had numerous solo and group exhibitions in New Orleans, Chicago, New York, Madrid, and Tokyo. Traviesa is a founding member of The Front gallery and released his first book, Portraits, with a concurrent exhibition at The Front during October and November of 2009. As part of Photonola, Traviesa received the New Orleans Photo Alliance’s inaugural Michael P. Smith Grant Award, and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art exhibited a selection of his portraits from the book. A selection of Traviesa’s project Beacons Abound, which focuses on the ambiguity of objects and how they fall along the continuum between randomness and specific intent, opened in April 2011 at The Front. Today we share that work.
Colors and shapes that please or intrigue have driven this project on an immediate, graphical level, but there is also a strong interest in an object’s intent or purpose. Sometimes the lure is, however fleeting, a sense of randomness or the opportunity to strip the meaning away from the function of an object. In other cases, there are significations or heraldic forms suggesting ceremony or even celebration, but again, those forms remain separated from any meaningful activity The mystery and melancholy that result within the individual images, however, begins to lift and radiate when the series is taken in as a collection that all point to a place where aspiration and amateurism intersect.
Since 2012, Traviesa’s photographic installations have become more immersive – often using his images as wall-paper. His show Shadow Park, at Tulane University’s Carroll Gallery in 2014, explored the idea of authenticity within global tourism. Medium Surface, a new body of work debuted at The Front in November 2014. Currently he is working on a commissioned photographic mural for the Odgen Museum. His work is collected privately around the United States and publicly in New Orleans by the Ogden and the New Orleans Museum of Art.
To view more of Jonathan’s work, please visit his website.