Award-winning photographer exhibits 1980s New Cross

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A Goldsmiths alumnus and professional photographer based in New York returned to campus for a special photography exhibition, displaying images taken during his time studying at the College in the 1980s.

The exhibition, titled Ephemeral Moments: The Photographic Art of Cesar Vera 1981-1984, is a showcase of pictures Cesar Vera captured during his time as a student, providing a unique historical view of New Cross and Goldsmiths.

The photography exhibition is free of charge and will take place at the College in the Professor Stuart Hall building foyer from Monday 4 December – Friday 8 December 2023. 

Born in Mexico and now living in New York, Cesar Vera studied Art and Design at Goldsmiths and has gone on to have a successful career as a photographer and creative director. Cesar took what is thought to be his first street photograph while studying at Goldsmiths. 

Speaking ahead of the exhibition, he still recalls the day when the picture was taken: “During my time at Goldsmiths, I discovered the visual allure of the area, as well as the intense and robust personalities of its inhabitants.

“On a typical midday, I remember deciding to capture street photos around New Cross Road. I stumbled upon a mature couple exuding a casual yet elegant demeanour. Struck by their remarkable resemblance, I managed to approach them discreetly and capture their photograph.”

Award-winning photographer Cesar Vera will fly back across the pond and return to Goldsmiths for the exhibition this December, swapping the streets of New York for those of New Cross. As well as hosting the exhibition of his work, Cesar will also pass on his knowledge to current students, with a special seminar and critique workshop of student photographs taken over the summer. 

Mike Waller, Professor of Design and Innovation at Goldsmiths and event organiser said: “Cesar’s street photographs capture fleeting moments in such a profound and meaningful way and the picture of the couple at the heart of the exhibition typifies his talent.”

Reflecting on Goldsmiths role in shaping his work, Mr Vera said: “Goldsmiths was, for me, a constant adventure. The school generously provided a diverse array of cameras for students to borrow, an array that spanned the spectrum of photographic possibilities. With access to three darkrooms and a fully equipped Professional Photography studio, I was fortunate to have the support of an exceptional team of teachers and mentors. 

“My time at Goldsmiths was marked by artistic exploration and cross-pollination. I found myself in the company of fellow students from various art-oriented disciplines, including silk screen printing, acting, dance, music, and more. I couldn't resist capturing the essence of their creativity through my lens. Those days were incredibly stimulating.”

Professor Waller said: “We’re delighted to welcome Cesar back to Goldsmiths. New Cross still provides visual and creative inspiration for students and staff today as much as it did during Cesar’s time here."

The exhibition is free to attend and booking is not required. For more information visit the Goldsmiths Event Calendar. 

Exhibition poster for Ephemeral Moments: The Photographic Art of Cesar Vera 1981-1984