Artist David V. Gonzales will be painting in the Breckenridge, Colorado location of Art on a Whim for the week of August 17-23 for the USA Pro Cycling Challenge.
A bike race is intense. Adrenaline pumps through the rider's veins. Their pedals spin furiously with each push of the legs. Their faces are full of focus and determination. Viewers rarely catch more than a glimpse of the riders. Despite the fleeting moment they are left with an abundance of energy from the rush of flesh, metal and rubber that just flew by them. Translating a moment so quick, yet so powerful, into a work of art is a challenging endeavor. David V. Gonzales has built quite the fine art career by mastering the motion and energy that makes bike racing so enthralling.
Gonzales has been painting professionally for most of his adult life. By the time he was seventeen he had work hanging at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. and in the governor's mansion in New Mexico. He received a full scholarship to study at the San Antonio Art Institute. His career took off after he began to masterfully express his fascination with relative objects moving through space and time. For the past year, much like a bike race, awards and acclaim for Gonzales' work have been coming fast and furious.
Gonzales' original acrylic painting titled "The Peloton" was selected to represent the USA Pro Cycling Challenge this year. After the race passes through Breckenridge the piece will be en route to a museum. His painting titled "Destination" represented the Breckenridge stage of the race last year, while "The Undertaking" represented the Woodland Park stage. His pieces titled "Racing Through Independence" and "Golden's Pro Race" represent the Aspen and Golden stages of the race this year. "ULLR Flipping for Snow" was selected to represent Breckenridge's ULLR Festival this past winter. His painting "60th Annual Pikes Peak Marathon" was chosen to represent the historic anniversary of the incredible marathon, known for its ascent of Pikes Peak.
The glue that holds Gonzales' collection of work together is the powerful and purposeful brushstrokes with which he paints. To capture speed and motion like Gonzales is able, an artist must maintain an intense focus. It is only through channeling the same inner drive to achieve that elite athletes are able to attain that an artist can translate their pursuits to panel. Gonzales prefers to work with acrylics on panel as the quick drying time of the paint and the rigidity of the panels he works on allows him to work quickly, thus capturing the intense rush of athletes in motion. None of Gonzales' paintings depict static moments in time. Rather, every new creation is like a living entity. Each painting depicts a past, present and future; ever moving and unfolding. Blurred brush strokes combine with a knack for realism to translate people and objects moving quickly through their environments. This makes every painting come alive with a combination of color and energy. It makes Gonzales' work instantly recognizable. Often, he has been likened to Colorado's modern day version of the past master Leroy Neiman.
On his process, Gonzales says, "I start a painting with just a few colors and start to see the interaction of movement, color and form. My first few marks are just to capture the motion of the rider and I build upon that. I don't stay in one spot when working on the piece. I move around the painting much as a rider moves through the scenery. There are often surprises stemming from not knowing exactly where you are going. It is necessary to keep that enthusiastic element, that life force, alive throughout the painting. I strive to keep that surprise element present throughout the entire painting. Sometimes you have more hurdles to overcome in doing so but it is that unexpected trust within yourself that you can elevate your motions to the next stage to accomplish something extraordinary."
A collection of Gonzales' originals and prints are on display this week in our downtown Breckenridge gallery, as well as at the festival grounds of the Pro Cycling Challenge. Gonzales will be painting live in both the gallery and at the festival grounds throughout the week. During last year's race he created a series of works depicting the exciting finish of the race, with Laurent Didier cruising through the finish line. Each painting sold as fast as they could dry. Watching Gonzales work is a sight to behold. His frenzied brush strokes bring the dynamic energy of Colorado's premier bike race to life in two-dimensional form right in front of your eyes. It is just as exhilarating as watching the race itself.
We hope to see you this week! As always, if you are not able to make it to Breckenridge we can ship your paintings to your home or office.