Bran­don Gon­za­les

American Art Collector - - Artist Focus - @bran­don_g45

The work of Bran­don Gon­za­les—a painter now in the fi­nal se­mes­ter of the MFA pro­gram at La­guna Col­lege of Art + De­sign—has been evolv­ing quickly in the past year. Work­ing on lo­ca­tion, Gon­za­les has been de­vel­op­ing a very per­sonal and el­e­gant plein air style that high­lights his sen­si­tiv­ity to the pas­sage of time. Start­ing with a place that catches his eye, he lo­cates some­thing—a sense of light or tex­ture—that he can latch onto and then acts quickly. “You have only two, maybe three hours to do a paint­ing,” he ex­plains. “Af­ter that noth­ing is the same.”

Al­though Gon­za­les al­lows him­self “a lit­tle tight­en­ing up” in the stu­dio, his in­sis­tence on get­ting it right out­side has forced him to de­velop a kind of artis­tic ath­leti­cism. His fin­ished paint­ings are never fussy: they say what they need to say di­rectly. There are hints of wet on wet, but most of his fi­nal brush­work is right there on the sur­face, mov­ing across the sur­face with bravado. Gon­za­les has what you might call “per­fect pitch” as a col­orist, and his in­ter­est in trans­mit­ting a cer­tain time of day is pay­ing off. His fin­ished works are just a bit ab­stract, as the some of the best plein air paint­ings tend to be.

Af­ter work­ing seven years as a matte painter for the en­ter­tain­ment in­dus­try, Gon­za­les is ready to cut loose and de­velop his own voice. Com­ment­ing on the way his cur­rent work seems to be go­ing, Gon­za­les sim­ply says, “It feels nat­u­ral to me.” Look­ing over his re­cent paint­ings it is clear Gon­za­les is do­ing what he was meant to do.

Gon­za­les will have his MFA the­sis show from June 2 to 15 at Q Art Sa­lon in Santa Ana, Cal­i­for­nia.

Clockwise from right: Orange & Blue Over­ture, oil on panel, 10 x 20" Hill­side: Golden Hour, oil on panel, 8 x 16" Sticks & Stones, oil on panel, 8 x 10"

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