Sep 13, 2011

PROFILE | Rob Gonsalves | Dream or Reality?

Rob Gonsalves, The Sun Sets Sail, Acrylic on Canvas, 2001

Artist Rob Gonsalves, known as the "Magic Realist", once a practicing Architect began painting full time in 1990 after receiving great feedback at the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition. This Illusionist has a style many consider along the theme of surrealism, and can wow you in his transition of blending scenes that will leave the viewer to think outside the laws of nature mixed in a dreamlike state.

Using his imagination and intellectual skill tought through his Architectural studies, Gonsalves is clever and witty in fooling the observer by placing a picture within a picture. Here in, deceiving the viewer by sometimes drawing your attention away from detail then back towards the detail within the hidden scene or meaning of his paintings.

Influenced by Dali, Escher, Tanguy, and even known to have skills like Magritte(The Human Condition, a work by Magritte had a magical effect on Gonsalves) the perspective illuminist artist can grab your interest by many of his different themes. His paintings show you can discover and enjoy sending your brain on new intellectual adventures by looking through more of his work here.

Dream or reality? Is what I find myself asking as I get lost in the magical creations of Rob Gonsalves. For example The Sun Sets Sail, above, when viewed from a distance one can only assume that this is a painting of a bridge. When viewing closer the reality of a familiar, yet natural shape in urban life fades into a whole different scene of boats in the Ocean. Still very dreamlike in color, the painting has a sense of calmness to it while it has no solidarity of realism. How could something so deceiving seem calming at the same state of confused thought? The painting breaks all physical laws our brains were tought to perceive as reality while it is tricking our eyes to see one surreal image. But why old ships and not modern ones? Do you think he has a message behind a ship with sails instead of one with a motor? Though the word sails is in the title, there is no sun in the painting, or the colors one associates with the setting of the sun. Sails do hold some sense of beauty as the wind hits them on an open Sea, and the detailed craftsmenship of well engineered boat. I think the color of this painting is symbolic to the light that breaches your yard in the morning right before the sun peaks the surface and breaks the fresh dew on your grass knowing a new day is setting sail, grasps the sensation of color this transcending painting brings to myself. That at the beginning of every new day metaphorically every human beings ship sets sail, off to face the new adventure that every new day may possibly bring.

Rob Gonsalves, Here Comes the Flood, Acrylic on Canvas, 1994

This is one of Gonsalves previous works that has a different theme than our previous painting which portrays some possible differnet themes. What makes Gonsalves so good to me is his use with reflection, represented in this piece along with his great use of shadow and light(both natural and unnatural).  The appearance of the town being flooded coming toward the viewer only to be the citizens of the town carrying mirrors above their heads.  Do you think there is a message that maybe the town people want their town to be flooded or is it some type of political statement?  I think that maybe its a possibility that a burden of such tragedy would take the town to come together in that big of a form to create what makes up a community. In other paintings by Gonsalves you and other critics or analysts might be able to give us some more interesting feedback of some different perspectives I didn't put into mind while looking through his archive of work. He transcends from dark vs. light, material vs. spiritual, and human made vs. natural, etc. His goal as an artist was to take dreams and imagination and put them down into visual images for others. I found Gonsalves in a book titled Masters of Deception, where he states:

I wanted to affirm that magical and wondrous experiences are not confined to the realm of dreams or the subconscious, but rather can be derived from our experience and conscious interpretation of the physical world. [...] In general, I would say that my work has become primarily a celebration of the wonder of imagination.
After becoming a full time painter his works became very popular and are collected now by well known politicians and other art collectors. His works also have a sense of childhood to some of them, to display recognizeable human activities to represent human beings desire to believe in the impossible. Gonsalves published a few books, Imagine a Night, Imagine a Day, and Imagine a Place, as well as exhibited at Art Expo New York and Los Angeles, Marcus Ashley galleries, and many others. It is our minds being fooled that allows us to continue to think and create as artist or passionate collectors/viewers, and Gonsalves will send you on a journey that will exceptionally expand that view.

-Devin Glenn

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