Raymond Gomez’s chaotic cityscapes prove that you can take the man out of Manhattan, but you can’t take Manhattan out of the man. Gomez, one of the artists participating in the Family Counseling Services Artists Studio Tour, will be showing his self-described “Urban Chaos Series” this weekend at the Whisper’s Gate Gallery at 36 Tuthill Rd. in Remsenberg, along with Gayle Wyroba’s weavings, Gregory Corn’s sculptures and Andrea Garone’s photoscapes.
Gomez’s series is the logical progression of a lifelong obsession with painting city views. A trained architect, Gomez spent 25 years at the helm of the Mideast offices of Edward Durell Stone in Casablanca, Cairo, Riyadh, Tehran and Kuwait. “In all my travels, I would go to the window of the hotel I was staying in and draw what I saw outside.”
Nothing compared to what he saw from his downtown office window on Sept. 11, 2001. He was horrified but compelled. “I was three blocks from the World Trade Center,” he said. “I remember running down the stairs to see what this was. I was about 600 feet from the base of the tower. I immediately knew this was a disaster. I knew the architect who designed the towers. I knew the structure of the building. And I knew it would implode.”
As the second tower fell, Gomez had left a temporary refuge in the Holocaust Museum to cross the Brooklyn Bridge. “At the ramp on the bridge, the narrow streets turned black,” he said. “I think I’m working my way through that in my current work.”
He met artist and event co-chair Candyce Brokaw when they lived together in an art commune of sorts for the Family Counseling Services at the Full Moon Art Center in East Moriches. Two years ago, he left Manhattan for Northport. Since then, he has shown in Westhampton, Remsenberg, Manhasset and Port Washington. “And,” he says, “I’ve been selling work off the shelf.”
The Family Counseling Services Artists Tour is free to the public from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Pick up maps at the Remsenberg Academy, 130 S. Country Rd. An opening night party will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, where attendees can meet the artists. Admission is $35, with proceeds benefitting Family Counseling Services.
Pictured: Raymond Gomez debuts his new "Urban Chaos" series at the Whisper's Gate Gallery.