It’s not just hockey, poutine and Mounties that Canada has to offer, Rob Gonsalves’s art is a fantastic addition to Canadian gems that we have come to know and love. Gonsalves has this wonderful ability to establish, in the viewer, a sense of childlike wonder, no matter the viewers age. Gonsalves discusses, “Much of my free time in childhood was spent daydreaming and drawing. Usually the subject would be an imagined place.” His use of subject matter showing everyday activities ends up blossoming into an adventure of the infinite possibilities the human imagination is a staple in most of his art.
As playful as his visual themes are, there’s a strong use of methodical lines, grid-like compositions; Gonsalves executes his pieces in a well thought and planned mechanical process. “Gradually my drawings came to be influenced by another aspect pf my personality : my strong aptitude for mathematics. Buildings became my main subject. By age twelve, I learned the rudiments of perspective drawing, aided by the architectural texts I would pore over”. He would later tie in his love for surrealism and his inspiration from such artists as Rene Magritte and M.C. Escher into his work. “Rene Magritte spoke to me more than any other surrealist artist, and has always been a big influence in my life and my art.”
The ability to create images to make one think has always been on the forefront of Rob Gonsalves’ artistic goals. Al Sekel in his book ‘Masters of Deception’ (2004) has elaborated, “Many people have labeled his art as surrealistic, but Gonsalves believes that his work differs from pure surrealism because it is deliberately planned and makes the viewer think. His ideas are largely generated by the external world (which many surrealists ignore) and involve recognizable human activities combined with carefully planned illusionistic techniques. Gonsalves tries to inject a sense of magic into otherwise realistic scenes, thereby expressing the human desire to believe in the impossible. As a result, the term “Magic Realism” has been used to describe his work.”
Gonsalves eludes, “Other sources of inspiration for my images can be found in the various dualities that can be observed in life experience: natural vs. human made, urban vs. Rural, light vs. dark, material vs. spiritual, etc. The images that are rooted in these concepts usually employ the device of a metamorphosis from on element to another.” Organic and structured, he provides visual balance to his art with wonderfully tight brushwork, and epic outdoors surroundings that makes us want to be right where the art is taking place. His palate has a lovely contrast as well, skyward colors compliment the deep earth tones he uses. Rich varieties of blues, oranges, browns and lush greens, it’s no wonder why people get lost in his work.