Today we’d like to introduce you to Antonio Gonzalez.
Antonio, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
Growing up watching The Wizard of Oz, a particular scene in the film always ran in the back of my mind. When Dorothy Gale steps out of her recently-wrecked, black and white home and into a colorful world, her mood changes instantly. She becomes a happier person (at first). The thought of her leaving the colorless world excited me. I remember feeling so thankful for living in a colorful world.
The moment I learned that Dorothy’s world had always been in color, I looked at my dad, confused. He then explained to me how her world had always been in color; It was simply the director’s intent to make Dorothy’s home black and white. This is when the idea sank in. It is the visualizer, the artist, who decides whether they want their work shown in color or not. They have total control of their own work. They get to determine how they want people to perceive it.
Once I was artistically introduced to photography in my junior year of high school (back in 2012), black and white photography appealed to me. The idea of capturing a moment that has no distraction of color whatsoever gives me more freedom to express myself, as well as lets the photograph speak for itself with delivering it’s intended message and emotion.
Now, I work with both black and white and color. My work is simply a glimpse of how I perceive my surroundings.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
I like to consider my portfolio as a pot full of herbs and spices, having a little bit of everything. Anything that captures my eye, I’ll take a still of. Whether it’s a portrait of an Angeleno roaming the streets of Downtown or a landscape that displays history, I have an open foundation when it comes to this art, emphasizing in street photography.
What I want people to have the ability to view the angle and approach that is not always common to see, even when it’s right before one’s very own eyes.
To some, it’s just a dirty puddle of water in the street. I see an opportunity for a reflection.
What do you know now that you wished you had learned earlier?
If there’s one piece of advice I can give, it’s to never be afraid. When I first started this hobby, I was afraid to take or ask anyone if I was able to take a photo of them. It was not until I built my courage when I found myself going to Downtown alone, just me and my camera, taking photos of everything and everyone that caught my attention.
If you see an intriguing person, whether in the city or in your neighborhood, go ahead and ask if you can take a portrait of them. They’ll be either shy, bothered, confused, or honored. Be willing to take the risk of walking up to people and accept their answers. You do not lose ANYTHING from asking. The least they can say is, “no.” At first, it just might be a little discouraging to keep hearing “no” from people, but you’ll eventually learn that not everyone wants their picture taken, and that’s okay.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
In the California State University of Los Angeles’ Palmer Wing Library, you can find a permanent display of my black and white photograph, “La Guardia De Los Angeles.”
Antonio D. Gonzalez