CV

 

Roberto Jose Gonzalez, is a Visual and Performance Artist in San Antonio, Texas. He has been concentrating full time on developing his repertoire in these dual mediums. His residence and studio is in the far Westside of San Antonio ( ETJ ) in the near hill country of Mico, Texas close to Medina Lake.

He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Painting from Trinity University, 1978 and a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Management from The University of the Incarnate Word, 1980.

 

He was an exhibiting member with the Pintores Chicano art group, Con-Safo in the early seventies under the guidance of the esteemed painter Mel Casas. This early formative experience guided the scale and direction of his work.

 

 He has had numerous solo and group exhibitions during the previous decades. Some of those exhibition venues include Centro de Artes, The Carver, The Witte, SAMA, Blue Star (S.A., TX.,) MexicArte (Austin, TX,) Polyforum Siquieros (MX, D.F.,) El Museo del Barrio (N.Y.C, N.Y.,) and Plaza de La Raza (L.A., CA.,)

A majority of his work during those decades have been large-scale abstract paintings dealing with the process of change, implicit form, and color memory. In recent years, the image of the body has surfaced along with other representational and vernacular cultural iconography.

 

 At the beginning of this decade, he has completed a large series of paintings in homage of the rain gods divined from the ancient Olmec people. These rain gods are “Xiac,” “Tlaloc,”  “Atl,” and “Cocijo.” These works delve into the ancient Olmecan spirit and iconography of historical divinities still revered to this day in Mexico and Central America. He is currently working on a new series based on the Zapotec rain deity, “Cocijo.”

 

In 1974, he began creating performance art, having been influenced by the European performance art movements of the Sixties and Seventies. His performance work was based on the street as well as in semi-theatrical spaces. Gonzalez was one of the first Chicano performance artists. His recent performance work has been organized around the body as bridge, the birth canal being the first bridge, and the primal performance artist as shaman. Today, he is also Artistic Director for “Los Olvidados,” an improvisational performance art group celebrating native Mexican Indian music.

 

He worked as an Artist in Residence for ten years teaching visual art and percussion. As a percussionist, he has trained extensively in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil and in numerous private classes, masters’ classes and workshops here in San Antonio, Texas and in New York City, N.Y. He has performed throughout Texas, Arizona, Mexico and, at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

 

He has taught adults in Continuing Education classes, in private classes and workshops.  For ten years, as an Artist - in - Residence he taught children in several of the poorest schools in San Antonio, interfacing with many traumatized and neglected children. It was in this phase of teaching that the transformative power of music and the visual arts became evident. Creativity helps a child be witnessed and have hope, that they are here, present, and not invisible. They can create meaning for their lives through the arts.

 

He worked as a fine arts curator and arts administrator, for over a decade at the City of San Antonio’s Carver Center in San Antonio. The esteemed Carver Director Jo Long mentored Gonzalez during that time. He has curated over two hundred local, regional and national art exhibitions for the Artist Alliance Gallery, The Carver, The City of San Antonio and The Blue Door Gallery. Being a curator exposed him to the full range of artists working today. Notable exhibitions featured the work of, Romare Bearden, Elizabeth Catlett, Roy de Carava, Jacob Lawrence, Adrian Piper, and James Van Der Zee to name a few.

 

While at the Carver Center his additional duties included public relations, graphic design, performing arts season programming, educational classes / outreach and community outreach. In 1995, with the City of San Antonio he designed the exhibition “Emerging from the Shadows, One City’s Perspective on Homelessness.” In 1986, he was bestowed the Pemerintah Propinsi Daerah Tingkat I Jawa Barat Award by the Indonesian Government for his assistance as a cultural ambassador. He was a juror for the Dallas Museum of Art, Dozier Travel Grant from 1993 through 1996. In 1983-84 he was the Gallery Director for the Artist's Alliance of San Antonio.

 

Notable Visual Arts teachers included Robert Warren, Mel Casas, Robert Tiemann, Frank Hein, Mark Pritchett, and Robert Fainter.

 

Music instruction has included classes with the late Babatunde Olatunji, Patato Valdez and Max Roach. Other esteemed masters he has studied with are Mestre Jelon Viera, Mestre King, Mestre Ninha, Mestre Bira, Mestre Chiam, Mestre Lalo, Baba Chuck Davis, Mestre Ibo, Mestre Osei, Yaya Diallo and Poncho Sanchez. Also, He has taken Master classes with artists of Las Ballets Africains, Jean Leon Destine of Jean Leon Destine Dance Company, artists of Raganiketan Manipuri Music and Dance Ensemble, artists of Muntu Dance Theater, and artists of Grupo Garifuna.

 

Gonzalez has performed with many ensembles celebrating the music and dance of the African Diaspora. Among these performing groups were the African music and dance groups N’Fougon (1994,) Daughters of African Descent, and Anike. Also, he has performed with The Presidents, Canto Brasil, Todo Mundo, Carnaval de San Anto, Martin Serere, Ile Bahia de San Antonio, Las Monas, Academicos do Opera, and currently Los Olvidados and LAZA.

 

He was Artistic Director for Ile Bahia de San Antonio during the 1990’s. Ile Bahia was a 501-C3 non Profit organization that performed Afro-Brazilian Capoeira, folkloric music and dance. Ile Bahia performed with the San Antonio Symphony at the Majestic Theater and throughout Texas at numerous local and regional festivals for nearly a decade.

 

Of note, Gonzalez has performed at the 1997 Hispanic Heritage Awards at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. with George Cisneros and Ensemble. The group was also featured on an HBO TV special on Hispanic History Month that same year. He has performed in Mexico, Arizona and throughout Texas at numerous festivals like the Waco Arts Festival, the Houston International Festival and the Houston Museum of Fine Arts.

 

Gonzalez has released music CD’s entitled “Mezclaritas.,”  “Xiac,” “Tlaloc,” and his newest release “Atl.” “Mezclaritas” l features his work with the Brazillian Pandiero grounded in new funk riffs and unusual mixtures of the traditional with the new. “Xiac,” “Tlaloc” and “Atl” explore Native Mexican Indian instrumentation with new flute, drum and synthesizer soundings.  He is currently working on his new CD entitled, “Cocijo” due for release soon.

 

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Roberto Jose Gonzalez

List of Exhibitions

1974 - 2014

 

Group Exhibition:          Con / Safo - Chicano Literature Symposium

                                      University of Oklahoma

                                      Norman, Oklahoma

                                      October – November 1974

 

Group Exhibition:          Con / Safo - Mexican- American Literary Festival

                                      Assumption Seminary

                                      San Antonio, Texas

                                      December 1974

 

Group Exhibition:          Con / Safo - Padres National Congress

                                      St. Mary’s University

                                      February 1975

 

Group Exhibition:          45th Annual Artists Exhibition San Antonio Art League

                                      Koehler House, San Antonio, Texas

                                      April 1975

 

Solo Exhibition:             One – Man Exhibition  - Laurie Auditorium Gallery

                                      Trinity University

                                      San Antonio, Texas

                                      February 1977

 

Solo Exhibition:             One – Man Exhibition - Carver Gallery

                                      Carver Cultural Center

                                      November 1978 - January 1979

 

Solo Exhibition:             One – Man Exhibition - San Antonio Museum of Modern Art

                                      San Antonio, Texas

                                      July 1979

 

Group Exhibition:           Visones Nuevas en Tejas New Visions in Texas

                                      Witte Museum San Antonio Museum Association

                                      San Antonio, Texas 

                                      May - June 1979

 

Duo Exhibition:             “Starker Schock” with Elizabeth Chase Gutierrez

                                       Shown – Davenport Gallery

                                       San Antonio, Texas

                                       February - March 1982

 

Group Exhibition:           Expo de San Antonio en Mexico Polyforum Siquieros

                                       Mexico City, Mexico

                                       February – March 1982

 

Group Exhibition:           New Trends in Yanaguana

                                       Artist Alliance Gallery

                                       San Antonio, Texas

                                       January 1983

 

Group Exhibition:           The Canadian Club Hispanic Art Tour

                                       El Museo del Barrio, New York City

                                       San Antonio Museum of Art, San Antonio, Texas

                                       Plaza de la Raza, Los Angeles, California

                                       August - December 1984

 

Group Exhibition:           L.A. Heights Alternative Space Gallery

                                       San Antonio, Texas

                                       May 1985

 

Group Exhibition:           Martinez, Mijangos, Taylor, and Gonzalez - Gallery 21

                                       San Antonio, Texas

                                       March 1986

 

Group Exhibition:           SAMA Open / ‘86 San Antonio Museum of Art

                                       San Antonio, Texas

                                       July 1986

 

Group Exhibition:           Frame of Mind Gallery

                                       San Antonio, Texas

                                       November 1986

 

Group Exhibition:           “Influences”

                                        San Antonio Museum of Art

                                        San Antonio, Texas

                                        March 1987

 

Group Exhibition:            Alumni Exhibition - Trinity University

                                        San Antonio, Texas

                                        March - April 1990

 

Group Exhibition:            “Art to Heart”  / Art Inc.

                                        San Antonio, Texas

                                        February 1992           

 

Group Exhibition:            A Celebration of Latino Artists / Tobin Estate

                                        San Antonio, Texas

                                        August 1992

 

Group Exhibition:            Second Blue Star Red Dot Exhibition

                                        San Antonio, Texas

                                        November 1992

 

Group Exhibition:            Blue Star Eight - Annual Artist Exhibitions

                                        San Antonio, Texas

                                        July 1993

 

Group Exhibition:            Third Blue Star Red Dot Exhibition

                                        San Antonio, Texas

                                        November 1993

 

Group Exhibition:            L’Age d’Or – Evans, Avila, Gonzalez

                                        Blue Door Gallery

                                        San Antonio, Texas

                                        December 1995

 

Group Exhibition:            “Collaborations”  / The Artists Gallery

                                         San Antonio, Texas

                                         August 1996

 

Solo Exhibition:               “Porteria y Flor” / Luna Notte Gallery

                                         San Antonio, Texas

                                         November 1996

 

Group Exhibition:            “Contemporary Words” / The Artists Gallery

                                         San Antonio, Texas

                                         July 1997

 

Duo Exhibition:                 McDougal / Gonzalez – Blue Door Gallery

                                         San Antonio, Texas

                                         July 1997

 

Duo Exhibition:                Avila / Gonzalez  - The Carver  

                                        San Antonio, Texas

                                        2010                       

 

Group Exhibition:             S.A.M.O.M.A. Lives – R Gallery

                                         San Antonio, Texas

                                         2012

 

Solo Exhibition:                Atl

                                         The Carver Gallery

                                         November 2013

 

Group Exhibition:              Contemporary Latino Art

                                          El Corazon de San Antonio

                                          Educational and Cultural Arts Center TAMUSA

                                          May – August 2014

 

Duo Exhibition                   Arispe / Gonzalez  Salon Sanchez -2015

 

                                                                   

 

Roberto Jose Gonzalez

 

Artist Statement

All of my creative energies serve to bring me back into the body. Sensation is the language of the body and I use it, to deepen my creativity. Connection down from the mind into the body is a return path to sensation. It is also a way of bonding with the ancestors. Forging a sentience with their nature means discerning their implicit communications from many centuries and millennia past.

I question how to restore those attachments of consciousness through such a long span of time and space? How to bond with my grandfathers’ grandfather? How to see with Olmec eyes? Paint with Maya blue? Those implicit dreams have their translation through their body, via their sculptures and paintings.  No words, just images of their bodies, warriors and wrestlers, mothers and children, infants and shamans. 

I understand that the temporality of my life and art at its core is illusory. In my creative process I touch the stream of consciousness that  some day soon I will merge with. It becomes a conscious integration of the creative unconscious. I seek elemental form articulated with ancient knowledge. If there is a fight, it is with the wolves of emptiness and immobility of ignorance.

Who my ancestors were was lost to their illusions. What art my ancestors created “is” their medium of consciousness, as mine is. However illusory my artistry is and for however long it will exist only serves to implicitly communicate a timeless attachment. It is through their work that I am connected to them and it is through my work that others will bond with me. I hold art as a medium of enduring revelation from the soma of the ancestors to my body.  

My body resonates with theirs. The spirit within is an echo oscillating their chant. Their gesture, breath and fire of consciousness glimmers at my core in visceral reverence. It is not about finding meaning in their soma, meaning is unimportant. That I can free my consciousness from identification with the known opens an artery of connection to our ancient elders.

I seek to open and renew my eyes and heart, balancing who I am in this moment with who I was three thousand years ago. When I play my teponatzle, the sacred breath and song of the ancestors skims across my lips. I listen with my body as they listened, a consonance of veneration.

 

 

 

 

 

Solo Exhibition:                 Roberto Gonzalez: Sacred Waters 

                                          Curated by Dr. Ruben C. Cordova 

                                          Centro de Artes TAMUSA

                                          March - June 2016