Location: SO Gallery, 2-14-12 Shoto,
Champbord-Shoto #106, Shibuya-ku, TOKYO, Japan

Preview: Thursday & Friday 17 April, 12-6PM
Opening Reception: Friday 17 April, 6-9PM


NEW MONEY is an exhibit of new photography, video, sculpture, embroidery, and performance art by NYC-based artist Gogy Esparza. Presented by CHAMP Magazine at So Gallery in Shibuya, Tokyo. Installed with a focus on light and texture, the exhibit lures viewers into the artist’s dark and eerie, yet seductive and sensual world.

Born to Ecuadorian immigrants, Esparza was raised in the industrial, blue-collar city of Worcester, Massachusetts. His parents, quickly adjusting to circumstance, took low paying factory jobs in order to provide for their son. Gogy grew up in a one bedroom housing project apartment in the center of town, shared by a total of 11 relatives including his parents, aunts, uncles, grandmother and cousins. The close living quarters bonded his family as one, and his cousins acted as his brothers. Esparza would tag along with his brothers at all hours while his parents worked.

Some of the neighborhood’s models for success were the brilliant, flashy drug dealers, hustlers, and gangsters who seemed to thrive through the strife. Consequently, he and his family dwelled amidst the violence, drugs, and poverty of their surroundings. Conflict was inevitable as fights, stabbings, and murder became commonplace, cyclical. Bloodshed and crime walked with his brothers constantly, and would haunt the family for years.

Amidst this vicious inner-city lifestyle are the aesthetics that define its existence. Even in the shadow of darkness, many of the hood’s inhabitants harness religion and other fragments of light, fighting for the beams to shine through. Oftentimes this light is manifested sartorially through clothing, jewelry, and cars. Other times, light is seen through therapeutic rituals such as music, dance, and prayer. Each cry for light, however, also holds the inherently abrasive nature of its origin.

NEW MONEY pays homage to this by carefully balancing the crude, horrific realities of street life with the beauty in its yearn for escape.


Gogy Esparza (b. 1987) is a New York City based artist who concentrates in fine art, photography, and video. After working with photographer Mark Borthwick, his project, EL VACÍO (2012-13) featured a photography book published by Dashwood Books, and an accompanying exhibition with Comme Des Garçons in Berlin and the Wayward Gallery in London. A regular contributor to Richardson Magazine, his work has also been featured in Interview, Purple, DazedDigital, and i-D. In the Spring of 2014, Gogy opened his multipurpose project space, MAGIC on Canal Street in Manhattan. Part gallery and artist studio, the space is also home to his private barbershop. MAGIC has hosted five exhibitions in 2014-2015 with works from artists Peter Sutherland, Weirdo Dave, Maggie Lee, Nick Sethi, Shawn Powers, Jen Shear, Luke Barber-Smith and Esparza himself.