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Check Out Rino Gonzalez’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Rino Gonzalez.

Hi Rino, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I’m a 3rd generation artist. I’ve always been interested in art at an early age coming from an artistic family from my father’s side. I majored in Fine Arts at California State University in Los Angeles. I learned most of my artistic skills from my Dad. He mentored me ever since he noticed my interest in art specially in oil painting. I am where I am today because of him. The way he went about teaching me gave me so much inspiration and confidence that to this day, I use them to teach my students.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
With my Dad paving the way for me, I would say that it made the road that has led me to where I am now a bit easier. But of course, there were still some struggles along the way. In particular, dealings with galleries was and still is a crapshoot. There are good gallery owners and much more crooked ones. So as my father would always advise me if you find an honest art dealer, you should try your very best to satisfy whatever needs they have and accommodate them as much as you can. It has worked for me but then again once in a while, I would find owners that are very dishonest. Other struggles that I have experienced especially early in my art career is the lack of freedom to paint what I wanted to paint. Galleries would always ask me to paint whatever other popular artists paint because they can sell them faster. Money is always the bottom line for them. I was able to get out of that situation by sticking to painting subject matters I have passion for which I still live. Then later, I was able to branch out and painted in different genres.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I am an oil painter and I specialize in Still Life painting. Like my father and mentor, Lex Gonzalez, I grew up in an artistic environment and knew at a very young age that I wanted to become an artist. Under my father’s tutelage, I learned the traditional method of painting and spent my early years perfecting my drawing skills before I actually commenced the use of oil colors. As my father/mentor stressed, “A true artist must first learn how to draw proficiently. Only then will the application of color come with ease and grace.” In my art career, I think I am most proud of being able to create an imagery and letting the viewer immerse themselves in it and with their own experiences in life have their own take on it. It has always fascinated me when I talk to people about my art how much it reminds them of their own experience growing up. How an object that I painted would bring them back to their childhood days. Memories of a jewelry box their mother had or maybe a favorite wine they would drink to celebrate a special occasion. As for my art, I think my use of lighting and being able to create drama within the painting sets me apart from other artists.

Can you talk to us a bit about the role of luck?
I have always said (jokingly) that I would rather be lucky than good anytime. But seriously, I think we make our own luck may it be good or bad. As an artist or whatever career a person has, if we always strive to make things better and never be satisfied then we give ourselves more of a chance to have good luck and succeed in our endeavors. Bad luck can come along the way but I always put a positive twist on it and good luck will soon follow. One example is when the pandemic happened. Almost every artist I know were worried that galleries are closing therefore no sales. They stopped painting and ventured on to other courses in their lives. I told them that this is the time to create and build up an inventory of our works. When galleries start to open again, we will then have the art to sell or even do shows while the others who stopped creating are now just restarting to paint again. In my art career, I have been lucky enough to be able to show at galleries, meet awesome artists and most of all have the freedom to create paintings that I want to paint because I put myself in a position to do that.

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