|A. Andrew Gonzalez
The Art History Archive - Visionary Art
Visionary Religious Art & Nudes:
A. Andrew Gonzalez (Born October 13, 1963) is an award-winning figurative artist whose work has been exhibited worldwide, his work primarily dealing with erotic Visionary Art. His artist father, Anthony A. Gonzalez, encouraged his early interest in drawing and painting, but gave him no formal training. His painting style and topic are inspired by William Blake's The Whirlwind of Lovers: Paolo and Francesca.
Michelangelo, the Italian renaissance artist, preferred sculputure to painting, because sculpture allowed him to simply reveal the form already hidden within the stone. Thus, sculpture can be seen as a subtractive process, whereas painting is typically an additive process.
Gonzalez turns this on its head. He achieves a sculptural look by airbrushing acrylics onto gesso panels, then lifting pigment with an abrasive eraser. This is followed by the application of transparent layers of paint. In darker sections, he may repeat these steps many times over. Claybord provides the best surface for this technique, but on rare occasion, the artist will use canvas.
Each meticulously crafted painting can take many months to complete. The level of detail often requires Gonzalez to wear a magnifiying visor. His final pieces are a combination of pre-planned and spontaneous forms, the latter discovered as his eraser technique reveals hidden designs.
Influenced by idealism in the Mystical, Visionary and Esoteric traditions, the artist describes his work as a contemporary Tantric or Transfigurative art that explores the dramatic union of the sensual and spiritual. His work is akin to a revival of classical Neoplatonic ideals centering on the figure as both temple and vessel, sublimed by transformative forces. His best known piece is Unio Mystica
Gonzalez's work has been featured in books ('Drinking Lightning', 'Eyes of the Soul', 'Aphrodisia: Art of the Female Form', Metamorphosis...), magazines (Contour, MAPS, Gnosis...) and on album covers, (Xyra & Verborgen, Mark Dwane, Voidgazer...). It's been showcased at Burning Man, the Interdimensional Art Show, Synergenesis and many other venues. Some of the more unusual places his art can be found are the Galactik Trading Cards series and in numerous tattoos.
Gonzalez's art has also been mentioned in a number of articles and essays that delve more deeply into the philosophies it derives from. These include 'Flowing Light: The Angelic Art of A. Andrew Gonzalez' by Daniel Mirante and 'What Is Visionary Art?' by Alex Grey.
Flowing Light - The Angelic Art of A. Andrew Gonzalez
"The divine seeing itself in the mirror is beauty, and you are the divine and you are the mirror."
A. Andrew Gonzalez, of San Antonio, Texas, has been depicting the human form "as temple and vessel sublimed by transformative forces" for over 15 years. Empowered by an artistic mission to "transform the collective imagination", Gonzalez wields with masterly sensitivity the evanescent medium of airbrush and acrylic, and succeeds in bringing forth images of the profound, heart-piercing tenderness of the angelic encounter with what he calls the "transfiguring biosophic flame".
We are hyper-dimensional beings. We are already spirit, we are already enlightened, we are already self-existent, non-compounded light. We are already in the spirit realm. We are already creating the dreams of God, we are already beautiful, primordial, divine and in the condition of Eternal Life.
The divine creative force, drips crystal fire from every centre, radiating through a divine spectrum of archetypal, angelic, solar and planetary formations. All manifest creation and life is the face of God, the surface emination, looking outward upon itself. The universe is the flow of Infinite Spirit, and its magic is the play, the Lila, of God.
The divine spun Gaia as a vale of soul making and of existence and experience. It is a fecund and miraculous garden of chthonic, chlorophylic, mineralogical, cultural and psychosexual play. We are children of a cosmos that created us and has been watching. As we procrastinate and doubt, rationalise and persue small-time agendas, it has watched, in every leaf, in every cell, registering and understanding its Lila.
During the visionary state, the transpersonal condition, the "centre that is free" – the free-state human energy condition - we encounter constellations of energy/information that sometimes become personified. These are the entities spoken of in the shamanic vision quest ; the earth elementals, the ancestors, the angels, demons and planetary avatars.
Angels are manifestations of Logos – divine messengers and healers, performing unfathomable illuminating and redemptive functions within the celestial and terrestrial matrix. Winged and resplendent, angels pursue the shadows of ignorance and darkness, shining, like the sun, without preference, nurturing love upon the most humble of beings, helping them to transcend their limitations. Angels help the soul to hatch out of its enclosure, its psychic shell of recursive behavior patterns and cycles. A true light pierces the encrustations around the heart and this is the beginning of a turning, a deep reorientation, from someone who looks at the past and regrets, to a reborn one who faces the future and the light. This heart-opening epiphany is the theme depicted in many of Andrew Gonzalez images.
In times of secular materialism, it is rare that we have the eyes to see this serendipity. That is why it is good to have paintings such as these, to remind us of celestial mercy that overwhelms consciousness with its lightness, highness and purity. Andrew Gonzalez describes one such experience, as being "enveloped in a fiercely radiant golden light, moving rapidly towards its blazing white centre. I felt what could only be described as a sense of being reborn”. The sweet ambrosia of the Great Spirit removes blockages and opens up sacred centers in the body that transmit and receive spiritual light. This transfiguration is the remedy to self-persecution and existential angst.
The images brought into being by Gonzalez depict both the orientation to and embodiment of the biosophic energies of celestial grace and force. In that light, we are endlessly purified, fresh and new, ever renewing, ever-resurrected and upheld in spirit by the power of the celestial. We are as delicate as blades of grass, fresh and jeweled with the elements, nothing holding us up, eternal and precious in the moment. And that Sun that we behold, the celestial light that showers its life-imbuing force upon us, is nothing less than our own true nature, where we came from, and where we are coming from every moment. It is what we are, underneath the Lila-Samsara, or ‘Satanic Deception’ of the contemporary deranged mind.
Entering into that light is the end of psychic story time, and the beginning of Reality. It is the jeweled epiphany of divine life. It is Eternity. The cherubim and seraphim, the dakini messengers, mysterious personifications of our own light too bright for us to identify with, are our higher centers - dissociated, yet coming into communication, to raise our frequency into a fullness of being, where we radiate from every dimension, not just from our ego and emotions.
Through this work - a work of alignment - the passage of higher energies is created, opening the connection between Earth and the Universal Life of the Celestial. In time even the most lost atoms of mind will discover in the innermost centre of its constituent nature the indivisible light, that oneness, which shares in the indestructible purity of the Whole.
The Angelic dakini moving through the celestial, and through Gonzalez magical paintings, tell us we are more than what we know, so we move into serving and living for more than what we think we are, and teaching us to give thanks to the glories that are and forever will be in the eternal garden of the Heart.