Ballesteros Creates Liquid Gold | Webster University

Ballesteros Creates Liquid Gold

St. Louis is Liquid GoldST. LOUIS (Septenber 28, 2018) – On Friday, Sept. 28, the May Gallery will present the closing night of the exhibition "Daniel Ballesteros: St. Louis is Liquid Gold... Love One Another."

Ballesteros will speak at 3 p.m. on Friday in Sverdrup Hall, Room 123. A closing reception will be held in the gallery from 5 to 7 p.m. Please stop by as part of your Reunion Weekend activities.

Daniel Ballesteros is a third-generation Filipino-American. “St. Louis is Liquid Gold…Love One Another,” is part of  "Midwest Filipino," an ongoing project he began several years ago as an exploration of his cultural heritage.

The name, “St. Louis is Liquid Gold…Love One Another,” was inspired by two graffiti tags he found next to each other on an old brick building. He considered them a potential answer to violence in St. Louis. Putting the separate tags together, Ballesteros created the body of work “Homicide Trees.” For this, he identified locations of gun-related homicides in St. Louis. He then took pictures of the nearby trees.

From the "Homicide Trees" body of workBallesteros used a 19th century photo process making 8 x 10 glass plate positives. He used gold leaf on the final print to cover the architectural elements such as houses and streets. The effect is gilding and removing the city at the same time. Without knowing the story behind them, the resulting images in black and gold foil are beautiful.  

Ballesteros graduated from Webster University in 2001 with a BA in photography. He is originally from St. Louis and has lived and worked in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Chicago, and New York. He now lives in Oakland, California. He has taught photography classes at the University of Connecticut and St. Joseph’s College in New York.

May Gallery events are free and open to the public. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.