THE ART OF ROB GONSALVES
“I believe that there is a real magic in life. Sometimes the experience of it can be dependent on one’s point of view. I have come to see the making of art as the search for that point of view where the magic and wonder of life appears not so much as an illusion, but as an essential truth that often gets obscured.” Rob Gonsalves
Robert “Rob” Gonsalves (July 10, 1959 – June 14, 2017) was a Canadian painter of magic realism and surrealism. He produced original works, limited edition prints and illustrations for his own books. His style is like that of Salvador Dali, Rene Magritte and M.C. Escher.
Gonsalves was born in Toronto, Ontario. As a teenager, he was inspired by Progressive Rock album cover art of groups like Genesis, Yes and Gentle Giant. Their fantasy and surrealism sparked his artistic direction. His love of the urban environment and Victorian architecture found its way into his paintings. He studied Architecture at Ryerson Technical University and the Ontario College of Art and Design where he learned how to manipulate perspective which became an important element in the narrative style of his paintings.
In his post college years, Gonsalves worked full-time as an architect, also painting trompe-l’oeil murals and theatre sets. After an enthusiastic response in 1990 at the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition, Gonsalves devoted himself to painting full-time.
Although Gonsalves’ work is often categorized as surrealistic, it differs because the images are deliberately planned and result from conscious thought. Ideas are largely generated by the external world and involve recognizable human activities, using carefully planned illusionist devices. Gonsalves injects a sense of magic into realistic scenes. As a result, the term “Magic Realism” describes his work accurately. His work is an attempt to represent human beings’ desire to believe the impossible, to be open to possibility.
With the intrigue of an M.C. Escher drawing and the richness of a Chris Van Allsburg painting, renowned Canadian artist Rob Gonsalves depicts that time between sleep and wakefulness, creating a breathtaking, visual exploration of imagination and possibility that encourages us to think past the boundaries of everyday life, and see the possibilities beyond.
His imagery invites the viewer to move past reality into a somewhat surreal depiction of what fantasy and imagination could be. In each of his paintings, what appears to be becomes something else. The supports of a train bridge become acrobats balanced on shoulders. A stately home in autumn is also a tree house being constructed by children. A child playing with a toy train sees a real train coming through the archway in his living room. Children bouncing on beds take off in flight above a patchwork landscape. A violinist sitting on a porch plays music to tall sunflowers which, on closer look become leafy people whose faces are in a sleepy trance.
Explore the work of Rob Gonsalves
Books by Gonsalves on Amazon
Rob’s FaceBook Page Containing Many Paintings
Short video on Rob
23 Mind Bending Paintings of Rob