During the last ten years I have painted traditional subjects seen from the lens of my Latino perspective. For me, it has meant painting people and places affected by the uncertainty of impermanence. Latino immigrants. Places slated for demolition, toxic sites, and historic buildings in cities that are too broke to restore them. After some reflection, I have decided these places mirror of my own experience in the US. But, I also know that mine is not a dystopian vision of the world. Like any artist, I love to engage in aesthetic pleasures, and through the practice of painting I have also discovered my gaze to be cultural and gendered.
As a young person I was most influenced by the figurative painting and social issue themes of Puerto Rican painters like Francisco Oller and Rafael Tufiño, and the Farm Security Administration photographs of Jack and Irene Delano. Joaquín Sorolla’s methods and paintings have appealed to me throughout the years, since they showed what can be accomplished working outdoors on a large format. My landscape paintings developed during the California plein air revival.
I paint non-professional Latino models. They come to me via word-of-mouth and are paid the going model rate. Their poses and clothes are chosen by them. They stay engaged because they are able to talk with me while they pose. The drawing stage goes quickly thanks to a large viewfinder. It takes me between 3-4 hrs to complete a 24 x 24″ portrait in oil. This video tells you more about my Undocumented Portrait series.
Outdoors, I work year-round in acrylics or oils. For my landscapes, I like to research a location’s history before showing up. I use larger canvasses (2 x 3′) and do the first 3-6 hours over one or two visits to the location. The last two hours are spent in my studio making minor revisions with the aid of a cell phone photo.
Over the last two or three years I have begun to paint murals in Richmond, thanks to the Richmond Art Commission and a couple of generous non-profits. After meeting with the organization, I develop a small scale model using an Ipad Pro and an Apple Pencil. The small version gets revised by the community, and transferred by the youth and neighbors who become the mural crew. My most recent mural was documented here, but if you’d like to read more please visit my public art page on this site.
Rebeca Garcia-Gonzalez is a Richmond, CA painter who grew up in a suburb of San Juan, Puerto Rico. After earning a BFA at the University of Puerto Rico, she came to San Francisco in 1985 to pursue a graduate degree in fine art. Rebeca has been painting the Bay Area landscape for a few years. She is also interested in the figure and in portraits of people from groups underrepresented in the canon. She shows her work locally. Her paintings are part of several local, private collections.
Rebeca Garcia-González es una pintora boricua basada en Richmond, CA. Se crió en un suburbio de San Juan y terminó un bachillerato en artes plásticas en la Universidad de Puerto Rico. En 1985 se fué a San Francisco a hacer estudios graduados en arte. Ha estado pintando el paisaje del área de la bahía por algún tiempo. También le interesa la figura y en particular, los retratos de personas de grupos poco representados, por ejemplo, Latinos y LGBTQI. Ha exhibido localmente , mayormente en California. Sus pinturas son parte de varias colecciones privadas.
Download Rebeca Garcia-Gonzalez’s resumé: RGG art_resume 18