I recently interviewed artist Osvaldo Gonzalez. He is a self-taught digital artist, born in Argentina. Working in a melancholic vein, Osvaldo creates complex and emotional scenarios of the human condition and strange dreamlike figurations. He has a knack for creating dark mysterious stories. His use of layering to create depth, tonal qualities, and aged effects are decisive and work together to produce otherworldly narrative moments with a delicate and detailed sense of atmosphere and transparency. He currently resides in Miami, Florida, with his wife Mariana and his iguana Morticia.
Q.When did you first discover that art would be an important part of your life?
A. "During high school I really enjoyed drawing class, and at the age of 17 I had the opportunity to start a job as an ad designer at the local paper in my hometown. It was a great experience and I discovered that my life would always revolve around art."
Q. How has society influenced your art? Are there social implications in your art?
A. "I feel that the downward spiral of the human condition is what gives impetus to my artwork."
Q. On average, how long does it take to create a piece?
A. "Sometimes the idea comes in a flash, I make some sketches in my book and in a few hours I have the outline of a piece. Sometimes it is more complex and in the middle of the process as I am adding to the piece, I suddenly have a drastic change in focus finally finishing the entire composition in a couple of weeks. Other times I start with only a few basic elements and no fixed idea, then after arguing with myself a piece is born in my heart and in my eye. I try to tell a story with each piece I create."
Q. Can you share your philosophy about art and artistic creation?
A. "The most important for me is the act of creating a good concept and bringing it to reality. The birth of a good idea is the celebration of art, the choice of a medium is only a complement."
Q. Has your art ever been published?
A. "Some of my pieces have been published in Expose I, Exotique 2, Desk Top Digital Culture Magazine, Recrie, art and science and several online sites."
Q. What was your most important exhibition? Please share that experience.
A. ""Digitized Show 2003" (Collective exhibit of digital art) in Fulton Street Gallery, NY was my first exhibition. It was then that I realized that someone other than myself could appreciate my art. My first show in Las Flores, my hometown, in 2004 was also a very important event for me. There I was able to meet up with old friends and share my art with them."
Q. Do you have any 'studio rituals'? As in, do you listen to certain types of music while working? What helps to keep you going?
A. "I like to hear music while I work, my favorite bands are Dark Tranquility, Therion, Nightwish, Sentences, and To Die For. I also enjoy a fine glass of wine."
Q. If you could pinpoint the characteristics of people who collect your art, what would they be?
A. "The essence of my art is somewhat dark and melancholy, it is difficult for me to generalize on the type of person who seeks it out."
Q. Discuss one of your pieces. What were you thinking when you created it?
A. "I like to go fishing on the ocean with my friends. On one fishing trip, we caught a tuna and I was truly surprised by its’ beauty. Before cleaning the fish to eat, I decided to scan it. This was the beginning of "Dagon’s Odyssey",, this piece tells a postmodern story of agony and punishment. According to legend, Dagon (Etruscan god half man, half fish) used to wander into coastal towns in order to capture women and take them to the profound depths of the sea. This piece shows the tension that is created when a creature is trapped by its own desires."
Q. Do you have a degree or do you plan to attend school for art? If so, how did it help you as an artist? What can you tell us about the art department that you attended?
A. "I am a self-taught artist. I didn’t have the opportunity to attend a university, and I continue learning on my own to this day."
Q. Why did you choose the medium(s) that you use?
A. "I like to mix drawings, photos, and incorporate found objects in my compositions. I always strive for an "antique" photographic look. The digital medium is perfect for putting my ideas together and making them a reality. Lately I am experimenting with collage and mixed media, I feel very comfortable with these mediums."
Q. Where can we see more of your art?
Q. Does a gallery represent you? Do you have any upcoming exhibits?
A. "I have started contact with some galleries this year that have expressed interest in my work, but I still don’t have anything defined."
Q. What galleries have you exhibited in? Can you provide links to their sites?
A. "Some of the galleries are:
Q. Any tips for emerging artists?
A. "It doesn’t matter if you have a paintbrush or a digital pencil, what is important is to have a restless heart, and to be able to transmit what your heart feels while leaving to the side what is trendy or popular. Create, create, and continue creating."
Q. Has your work ever been censored? If so, how did you deal with it?
A. "This hasn’t happened, but if it did, it wouldn’t be of great concern to me."
Q. What was the toughest point in your career as an artist? Have you ever hit rock-bottom?
A. "It was when I realized that for economic reasons, I wouldn’t be able to study art at a university. It was a bitter truth at the moment, but at the same time I was able to discover my own ability to teach myself to be an artist."
Q. In one sentence... why do you create art?
A. "Just one word is enough…Passion."
Q. What can you tell our readers about the art scene in your area?
A. "I live in Miami and I am not really connected with the local art scene. I think that in order for art to be truly appreciated it has to transcend geographic limitations."
Q. Has politics ever entered your art?
A. "I think that in some of my pieces, the consequences of bad politics can be perceived."
Q. Does religion, faith, or the lack thereof play a part in your art?
A. "The dark side of the human nature is the engine behind my work. We are prey to the dependency on technology, we are hypocrites, there is a lack of love and an abundance of selfishness among other evils. We are trapped in dark and perverse systems where wars are fostered and hungry are digited.
My work is not related to religion or faith, but I try to demonstrate how wrong we are to drift away from true spiritual values."
Q. Is there anything else you would like to say about your art or the ‘art world’?
A. "Blessed are those who appreciate art. More blessed are those who feel it and live it."
I hope that you have enjoyed my interview with Osvaldo Gonzalez. Feel free to critique or discuss his art.
Take care, Stay true,