Imagine this, having the ability to form words into images, using a verbal blueprint of a friend's childhood memory. This was the beginning of a masterpiece in the making and one of Jaime Gonzalez's favorite creations for reasons that will unfold further.
Who is Jamie Gonzalez? He was born in Santiago, Chile, he has mastered the oil painting technique in such an advanced form that he can mirror the realism brought through photography and onto oil and canvas.
At age 28, he moved to the United States with his family and he saw a completely different world, houses with canals and boats, cars like the ones he would only see in the movies. He was told that he had to work hard and that people did not live off dreams, so he worked day and night.
A long time went by and about nine months ago, he started to paint again.
I have arrived to the future and it is time to start what I postponed in the past.
AL: What artists inspire you?
AL: When did you become an artist?
JG: When I was 7 years old, I loved music and painting. I didn't realize I had a talent till I was in elementary school, I was given an assignment to create a painted drawing. I decided to paint a carnation, it came out beautiful. When I brought the painting into class nobody believed that I painted it, the teacher gave me a 0 for being a liar. My Mother went to speak with the principal, but they gave me a 0 anyway. This was when I realized I had a talent.
AL: What inspires and motivates you in your work?
JG: When I was young, in the mornings when I would walk to school, it was cold and the streets were covered in ice. The smell of the air was fresh and crisp, this is what inspires me to paint, life, colors, the surroundings, I see lights and forms, without lights there is no form.
AL: Did your upbringing influence your work?
JG: Yes, definitely. Throughout my life I did many things, I watched artist do different things throughout a period of time. At one point in my life I became a DJ in a club there were dancers, singers, comedians every night of the week. During the day I would visit with my uncles, one of them was neighbors with Pacheco Altamirano, who I began to visit, to watch him paint and understand his techniques. At age, 19 I started to sell Raúl Vergara paintings, whom I watched as well. I sold paintings for at least 7 months, during that time I realized, in order to sell paintings fast one has to paint flowers, birds, sceneries, the ocean, nothing specific but instead functional to match with home décor. At age 20, I painted my first two paintings that were 25 x 20 cm. It took me a week and they were traditional countryside sceneries. I went in a bank with my two paintings, I asked to speak to the president of the bank and within five minutes, he was sold. He even asked me to bring him more so he could buy for his family
AL: What do you love about life, and what do you hate?
JG: I don't like injustice, I don't like fake people, and those who are only out to make money. People need good leaders and unity.
I love the cycle of life.
Paintings helped to resemble moments in history and I appreciate that about art. Understanding and accepting the bad and appreciating the good.
When people hear the word artist they automatically assume lazy, or the hippy life, I don't believe in that. My purpose in painting isn't to sale, it is not cookie cutter work, it is authentic and unique that resembles who I am. I do something that catches the people, which makes them want to buy it. In my country I was selling it as a product, at my age currently, I want to take that next step and truly express myself to the world.
AL: What mediums do you work in and why?
JG: Oil because it is the hardest and I like the smell.
AL: What is your vision/philosophy?
JG: When we see the world today we look at reproductions, like photography, but the world's history was transpired through paintings. From 1,000 years to today, you can see the history in the paintings. I believe if I am reaching, everybody is reaching together. Like a socialist, everybody is treated the same. I have much passion in everything I do, not just painting but with my family and friends. Not many people are passionate about anything, this is sad, but I feel my passion is expressed in my work.
AL: What do you like doing when you are not painting?
JG: Enjoy life. Appreciate what life has given to me every day.
“I appreciate everything a woman represents, the feeling of love and sensuality..”
AL: What is your favorite color?
JG: My favorite color would have to be freedom. Freedom to express my passions, who I am, what I love, and myself.
AL : How much time is spent creating your pieces?
JG: At one point in my life I was creating 5-6 pieces in 24 hours. My wife would make the canvases from scratch, while I was painting. There were times when the neighbors would come over to the house to have a BBQ and just watch as I paint.
AL: How did your art work become famous?
JG: Over in Chile, I was selling a product, like other artist here who paint of Orlando, I painted landscapes, flowers, and of the people. Between the ages of 22-28, I sold more than 2,500 pictures in Chile. But do you know why I was able to do that? Because I was able to create something that catches the people's eye. Now, in my maturity I want more, I have evolved, I want to express myself.
AL: What is your favorite experience as an artist?
JG: Well, let me tell you a story. A dear friend came to me with a childhood memory. He had no photos, fabrics, or anything to give me as a reference. He just told me a story describing the details of each image and feeling he had during that memory. He left me with that, a verbal blueprint. Over the course of a few days I completed his painting, he was anxious to see what I had created. When I revealed the painting, he began to cry. I recreated his childhood memory to the exact detail; he was so amazed and grateful. His pure emotions of joy is why this is my favorite and most motivational experience as an artist.
Whereas some need drugs to produce inspiration, for me it is natural, it is something different.