MEET THE ARTIST: Rene Gonzalez


Ahead of his debut at the DegreeArt.com gallery as part of Artists of the Future 17, we speak to Rene Gonzalez graduate of University City & Guilds of London Art School, 2014.


1) Which art movement do you consider most influential on your practice?

I think it's worth mentioning I started as a graffiti artist and mural painter influenced by comic book culture, which one may choose to consider when observing my work, but I am influenced by many Modernist Art movements like Art Deco* because of its faith in humanity and science, advertising, propaganda, Christian art because of its history and abstract painting. Perhaps this pastiche of imageries reflects a more postmodern essence in my work though, as references to specific art styles are often simply used as a narrative tool.

*Art Deco, also called style moderne , movement in the decorative arts and architecture that originated in the 1920s and developed into a major style in western Europe and the United States during the 1930s.

 

2) Where do you go and when to make your best art?

To me, art is about patience, discipline, passion and craft. Creating art can be hard work, so to answer the "when and where" question, I would have to say "the studio", as often as possible.

 

3) How do you describe your 'creative process'?

I believe it starts with an idea, "what do I want to say?". Once I have that, it's just a matter of storytelling, what visual elements will better describe my idea.

 

4) Which artist, living or deceased, is the greatest inspiration to you?

I really don't know how to answer this one... I love many Artists, like the impressionists, or the pop artists but don't really identify with any specific one and my inspirations include music, cinema, graphic novels and advertising, and then there's artists like Miyazaki who transcend all media boundaries.

 

5) If you weren't an artist, what would you do?

I honestly don't know.

 

6) What do you listen to for inspiration?

Many things, like Wu Tang Clan, Chet Baker, Earl Sweatshirt, Cowboy Bebop Soundtrack*, Tchaikovsky, The Strokes, or different podcasts about science or entertainment.

*The Cowboy Bebop anime series was accompanied by a number of soundtrack albums composed by Yoko Kanno and Seatbelts, a diverse band Kanno formed to create the music for the series, with a principal focus in jazz.

7) Which 3 artists would you collect work by if money was no object?

Henri de Toulouse Lautrec, Basquiat, Peter Doig,

 

8) If your dream museum or collection owner came calling, which would it be?

Hauser & Wirth or Saatchi

To me, art is about patience, discipline, passion and craft.

9) What is your key piece of advice for artists embarking on a fine art or creative degree today?

Don't only focus on your own craft, but also in the pursuit of different platforms to promote and present your work

 

10) What is your favorite book of all time (fiction or non-fiction)?

The End of Faith by Sam Harris.

Amazon says: This important and timely book delivers a startling analysis of the clash of faith and reason in today's world. Sam Harris offers a vivid historical tour of mankind's willingness to suspend reason in favour of religious beliefs, even when those beliefs are used to justify harmful behaviour and sometimes heinous crimes.

11) If you could hang or place your artwork in one nontraditional art setting, where would that be?

The Natural History Museum.

 

12) What was the biggest lesson your university course or time studying taught you?

How visual expressions don't occur in a vacuum and only make sense when observed in a historical context, where different circumstances create specific visual expressions unique to their situation.

 

13) And finally, if we were to fast forward 10 years, where would we find you?

In the greatest art shows and galleries in the world!


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