An event and exhibit with Raymundo Gonzalez celebrating his art in this new book
Raymundo Gonzalez: Magical Realism in Mexico
Nov. 6, 6:00-8:00
Raymundo Gonzalez grew up in Veracruz, Mexico, predisposing him to the European influences that distinctly infuse this colonial city. Laces and fans from Spain, textiles from Italy, exotic foods such as caviar from Russia and sausages from Germany were part of the life of this bustling port, fascinating and fueling the young boy’s imagination and giving him a multitude of subjects for his drawings. His perch was a balcony which afforded an exceptional view as he sketched the hustle and energy of the city in his notebooks. His parents and relatives tried to discourage his obsession because of concern that he could not make a living as a painter. Nothing could dissuade Raymundo to abandon his pencil and sketch book. Unable to ignore his gift for drawing, his parents sent him at the age of eighteento the state of Morelos to study architecture at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Campus Morelos.
While in Morelos and the neighboring state of Guerrero, Gonzalez awoke to the heritage of the rich indigenous culture of Mexico. He claimed, “My heart and soul became indigenous”. His studies included visiting the archeology sites and the murals of Diego Rivera in Cuernavaca and there he fell in love with “The City of Eternal Sunshine”. He never left. Armed with the training of an architect, born with the gift of drawing and passion for art, Gonzalez began his career as an artist there. Now, he rightfully takes his place in the long line of Mexican artists whose paintingsrecognize that the complex heritage of Mexico includes the European and indigenous culture,contributing equally to contemporary Mexico.
In his work, subject, form, pattern and color are married to create pictures that joyfully reflect thecomplexities of this country. As Marion Oettinger, Jr., Curator of Latin American Art, San Antonio Museum of Art points out in the prologue to the new book Raymundo Gonzalez: Magical Realism,“Gonzalez’s work is saturated with folk imagery and motifs. His renderings of flora, fauna, public and private architecture, and human forms are drawn from the basic design elements from Mexican folk art and are used by post-Revolution artists such as Gonzalez to make their art relevant to the past yet establishing a new path into the future.”
Magical realism, normally a literary term today, is Gonzalez’s self -designation of his style. It differs from pure fantasy primarily because it is set in a normal, modern world with authentic descriptions of humans and society. According to the critic, Angel Flores, magical realism involves the fusion of the real and the fantastic, or as he claims, "an amalgamation of realism and fantasy". The presence of the supernatural in magical realism is often connected to the primeval or “magical”Indian mentality, which exists in conjunction with European rationality just as Gonzalez’s own life experience and paintings exemplify. Gonzalez’s art can be also described as folk surrealism in which people fly and mysterious juxtapositions are the norm — cathedrals tilt, carousels are populated with mythical animals, women hold up the church, people hang off buses, skies are filled with floating beds and shadows look like roosters.
Internationally recognized artist Brenda Kingerlystates, “Raymundo Gonzales uses a brilliant palette and elaborate compositions in his paintings. The artist becomes a visual storyteller as he paints. The paintings read as pure delight. They are real yet fictional, natural yet pretend, and assertive yet playful. Raymundo is an exciting Mexican Master Artist.”
Raymundo Gonzalez’s brilliant colors alone have attracted international buyers from Ireland, Scotland, the Netherlands as well as the United States and the publication of the new book: Raymundo Gonzalez: Magical Realism by San Antonio publisher Material Media will introduce many others to the delights of his world. The book is primarily a collection of his acrylics, watercolors, gouaches, and drawings. Wendy Atwell, a frequent commentator on the art scene, contributed an insightful essay; there is an interview with Gonzalez by the artist/photographer Mark Menjivar and some short personal reflections from art collectors who live with his paintings. Gonzalez’s art representative for the Southwest, Fredericka Younger, introduced many to his work through her website and the line of greeting cards using Raymundo’s designs (www.QueTeLate.com) and made the book possible by her contributions. The design of the beautiful book is by Andréa Caillouet.
The book, Raymundo Gonzalez: Magical Realism, is available at the Twig Bookstore, Viva Bookstore, SAMA gift shop or at www.MaterialMedia.Net . Gonzalez’s paintings can be seen at Cosas in Boerne, Texas or by appointment with Fredericka Younger, ChicaYounger@gmail.com