Photo of a portrait in oil

Johana. Oil on canvas, 36 x 36,” 2018.

Richmond, CA May 31, 2019 For immediate Release

Portraits of Puerto Rican Resilience Exhibit Opens at Sánchez Contemporary

An exhibition of portraits of Puerto Ricans by Richmond artist Rebeca Garcia-Gonzalez opens on July 5, 5-8 PM, at Sanchez Contemporary, an Oakland Gallery. The paintings will be on display until August 15, 2019.

The show presents 14 paintings created during a post-Maria trip to the island. As with most of Garcia-Gonzalez’s portrait work, sitters sat for the painting process and were able to choose their clothes and poses. “Originally I wanted it to be a showcase of Puerto Rican diversity,” she explained. But as the sitters talked, the artist learned about the impact of a disaster worse than Maria, the economic crisis engineered by the PROMESA oversight board.

None of them, she realized, were expecting help from outside the island. And all of them were doing something to help others, sometimes at great sacrifice. Her portraits would end up showing the resilience of ordinary Puerto Ricans, young and old, men and women “who defy colonial identities through their presentation of self.”

Rebeca Garcia-Gonzalez is a painter, muralist and educator based in Richmond CA. Of her portraits, historian Richard Cándida Smith observed “she uses simple graphical realism to capture the strong personalities of the people who sit for her… they are human beings, complex and probably contradictory” Garcia-Gonzalez is most known for her oil portraits of  immigrants and queer people living in the San Francisco Bay Area. She completed a BFA at the University of Puerto Rico before moving to the Bay Area, where she worked as an educator, illustrator and graphic designer.

Contact Info

Name: Rebeca Garcia-Gonzalez

Phone: 510-932-1526

Email: rebeca@garcia-gonzalez.com

Images and More Info

Use the photo above for social media. Use this one for print applications.

An article about this series can be found here.

See the blog about this project.