Friday, September 5, 2014

Carlos G. Gomez: Life’s Journey, A Bato in Alaska

Ben Bailey Gallery 
On View: September 8 – October 8, 2014
Artist Talk: Thursday August 25, 2:00PM
at The Little Theatre
Artist Reception: September 25, 6-8PM

The first art exhibit of 2014-2015 at the Ben Bailey Art Gallery at Texas A&M University-Kingsville features a journey of sorts, by a long-time art professor. Life’s Journey, A Bato in Alaska, by Carlos G. Gomez, opens Monday, Sept. 8, and continues through Wednesday, Oct. 8, at the Bailey Art Gallery. Gomez will be on campus Thursday, Sept. 25, to give an artist talk at 2 p.m. in The Little Theatre. He will be honored later that day with a reception in the gallery from 6 to 8 p.m. 

“Never one to stop playing and taking things for granted, this body of work is a journal of the mysterious hallucinations of a profound experience,” Gomez said. “The imagination runs rampant with surreal overtones and nothing matters except for those visual images that burn deep into the brain and rattles emotions that are transformed into graphic representations.

“Spray paint and wax colored pencils produced these abstract memories, where thought and isolation conjure analysis of human interaction and those oppressive tenets associated with human experiences. Life’s Journey is an optimistic body of work, despite the sense of isolation worked with ‘felt’ energy transforming an aesthetic balance of space and kinetics,” he added.

The Ben Bailey Art Gallery is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. 
For more information, call 361-593-3401.

About Carlos G. Gomez
Gomez was born in Mexico and raised in Brownsville. “Brightly colored buildings and the surreal atmosphere of the Mexican border towns gave me the first appreciation of color, line and the generalization that my chosen images would have to be bold and realistic,” he said.

“As a person who has been painting for over 30 years, I have explored many ways by which one can apply paint on a support,” Gomez said. “I have dealt with a vast amount of concepts and themes and still feel that I am barely scratching the surface as a painter. I look for things that have to do with life and the things that matter.” Gomez has been included in the Arizona State University Hispanic Research Center publications Contemporary Chicana and Chicano Art Work: Artist, Works, and Education and Chicano Art for Our Millennium.

His work has been included in numerous exhibitions, including the 24th exhibition of Painting and Sculpture at Barnegat Light, New Jersey; the 70th American Annual at Newport, Rhode Island; the Second National Jury Exhibition in Washington D.C.; the Latin Spirit of the 80s in Houston; Art in Nature at the Museum of Natural History in Austin; Cara on Cara: Texas Faces in San Antonio; Tres Proyectors Latinos at the Austin Museum of Art at Laguna Gloria; and the Eighth Parkside National Small Print Exhibition in Kenosha, Wisconsin. In addition to his own work, Gomez is an active curator and has curated more than 100 exhibitions. Gomez is currently professor of fine art and chair of the visual arts department at the University of Texas at Brownsville. He has been honored five times as a Meritorious Faculty Member. He received his BFA from Pan American University and his MFA from Washington State University.


Thursday, September 4, 2014

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Rigoberto A. Gonzalez: Tierra de Nadie

Ben Bailey Gallery
On View:  July 1 – August 28, 2014
Artist Talk:  August 28, 3:30PM at The Little Theatre
Closing Reception : August 28, 6-8PM 

The latest art exhibit at the Ben Bailey Art Gallery on the Texas A&M University-Kingsville campus is both historic and thought-provoking. 
Tierra de Nadie (Nobody’s Land) by Rigoberto A. Gonzalez brings his theme of merging historic folklore and contemporary border issues to light in this show that runs from Tuesday, July 1 through Thursday, Aug. 28.
Gonzalez will give an artist talk at 2:30 p.m. Aug. 28 in The Little Theatre. A closing reception will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Aug. 28 in the Bailey Art Gallery.
Because of the content of this exhibit, it is rated PG-13 with parental guidance suggested for children 13 and younger.
“The theme running through the paintings is a merger of historic folklore and the contemporary border issues affecting Mexico and the United States—the brutality associated with drug cartels and the people involved in illegal immigrations,” Gonzalez said.
“In my paintings, I create a dialogue between the depictions of violence by Caravaggist Baroque painters with the portrayal of violence in corridos-folk ballads from Northern Mexico-and narcocorridos-corridos inspired by the narcotic trade and war,” he said. “Essentially, a corrido tells a story; it is usually a narrative with a violent theme. In the past, singers would document the lives of Mexican revolution heroes and community events, but recently, narcocorrido writers have become influenced by the lives of drug smugglers and media reports of violent events.
“Through their knowledge of rhyme and verse, they make an unpleasant story pleasing to the ear. Similarly, Caravaggio and his followers through their use of dramatic chiaroscuro--light and dark--their histrionic intentions and discreet judgment--visual verse--were able to embellish a martyrdom scene,” he said. “Following this tradition, I take the images generated by the ongoing war with the drug cartels and make them pleasing to the eye. My corridos, like Caravaggist paintings, are not prose but visual verse.”
Born and raised in Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Mexico, Gonzalez knows firsthand of the unique border dynamics and heightened tensions between the drug cartels and Mexican government. Reynosa has become one of the hardest hit cities of cartel-related deaths and violence, and Gonzalez’s paintings serve as records of the ongoing crisis in his attempt to “humanize the conflict.”
The gallery is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information, call 361-593-3401. 
About Rigoberto A. Gonzalez
Gonzalez lives in Harlingen and is an art teacher at Harlingen High School and an adjunct professor at University of Texas Pan American. He has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from University of Texas Pan American and a master’s degree in fine arts from the New York Academy of Art.
His work has been exhibited in numerous galleries, including the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center and Texas Biennial in Austin, the Houston Art League and Talento Bilingue de Houston in Houston, the Stanlee and Gerald Rubin Center for Visual Arts in El Paso and the Las Cruces Museum of Art and the Roswell Museum and Art Center in New Mexico.
He has completed artist residencies at the Roswell Art Residency Program, Rancho del Cielo, University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College. He received a grant from the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture.

Rigoberto A. Gonzalez speaks about his work.