Aaron Payne Fine Art is pleased to announce its first photography exhibition featuring works by local Santa Fe resident, Joe Merlino.
This exhibition coincides with the 20th anniversary of the violent government crackdown against student protesters in Tiananmen Square, Beijing on June 4th 1989. This event is often described as the June 4th Incident in contemporary China.
Joe Merlino was traveling in China during May and June of 1989. He was in Tiananmen Square when the largest crowds of protesters gathered to voice support for democratic reforms and denounce corruption. As Merlino continued his tour of China, the mood and direction of the country changed abruptly in the wake of the government’s violent suppression and subsequent persecution of the student protesters. The photographs on exhibit reflect this transformation in what they depict and what is absent.
Joe Merlino lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico with his wife and their daughter. Born and raised in New Jersey, Merlino studied history and cultural anthropology at Harvard before starting a career providing strategic advice in philanthropy and cause-related enterprise. Merlino has traveled extensively throughout the United States, Central and South America, Western Europe, India, Africa and East Asia. In addition to the June 4th Incident in China, Merlino also inadvertently experienced political turmoil firsthand in Cote D’Ivoire, West Africa in the days leading up to that country’s first coup d’état in 1999. This is his first exhibition.
A portion of the proceeds from this exhibition will go to benefit Project Tibet in Santa Fe.
Joe Merlino, Lijiang Five, 1989, photograph.