Gongora’s new series of paintings, Star Gazing The Infinite Forever is a celebration of the classical form of theme and variation. Using the repeated image of a sailors star, which symbolizes a combination of a compass, a guiding light in the night sky and the hope for a safe journey home, grounds Gongora’s visual exploration in theme and variation.
Gongora’s Here Then Gone, the first in the series from Star Gazing The Infinite forever, began as a single painting of mourning. Here Then Gone was triggered by the sudden death of Robert Hal Gusler, Gongora’s former partner. The series originally born from a place of mourning evolved quickly with each iteration to become joyful expressions of hope. As the viewer scans the painting surfaces, the star’s planes seem to appear to shift. The illusion of foreground and background morphing into and out of each other has an exciting impact on one's perception. Mandala-like each painting in the collection are vibrant colorful meditations on the wonder and beauty of life itself.
Gongora’s go-to process for healing has been to give form to complicated feelings and emotions through the creation of art objects. Here Then Gone is a wonderful example of this practice. The painting is a cacophony of swirling lines and layers held within the light of an imperfect circle. From the left bottom of the canvas, there are smaller shadowed circles that pass diagonally through the center of the painting. The shadowed circles symbolize one's life force as it exits the body. As the shadowed circles pass through the center of the large glowing circle they become golden as the soul ascends. The metallic golden circles are borrowed from Byzantine iconic artworks. Metallic gold was used to depict a halo around iconic subject’s heads. In Gongora’s work, the halo of light from within is not reserved for the iconic but rather for every being.
These ten paintings are in loving remembrance of Robert Hal Gusler.
Canvas 8" x 8," Colored Pencil, Acrylic Paint, Watercolor, Pastels
Canvas 48" x 48," Colored Pencil, Acrylic Paint, Watercolor, Pastels
"Re -______", series
“Re – ________,” is Gongora's newest series of watercolor paintings, which play with the reinterpretations of iconic images from the distant and not so distant past as well as several self-imagined paintings.
The title “Re- _______,” sprang forth from the idea of re-doing something/anything in a new way. By re-interpreting an image, Gongora is paying homage to artists of the past, similar to the way a musician re-interprets a piece of music. The image re-imaged retains its power from the past and in its new form illuminate the present.
The first painting in the "Re - ______" series, titled Quilt, began as a challenge to emulate a style of digital painting that he had been developing on the iPad. Painting on the iPad allowed him to produces whimsical lines, dashes and dots instantaneously. The displacement of dry time (typically associated with most other painting mediums) allowed for a dynamic rhythm to be played out between the medium/machine and himself. The digital paintings, therefore, appear to have a speed and tempo that only paintings in light could produce. While experimenting with Quilt, Gongora was thrilled to discover that he could create a similar result using watercolors.
In the painting, Silly Taking Guns To School, Gongora re-interpreted an iconic photograph of Clint Eastwood, pointing his gun straight out at whoever is looking at the picture. In Gongora's version, he has transformed Eastwood’s figure into a masked childlike person. Titling the piece Silly Taking Guns To School, Gongora bring into consideration the present day phenomena of children being killed while at schools, by other children and or adults, with guns. He has removed the machismo and sex appeal of a celebrity and replaced the image with absurdity. The gun is seen for what it is, a tool for killing, not an extension of manhood and sex appeal.
Gongora's re-imagining of William Bouguereau’s Dante and Virgil, 1850, focusing on the homoerotic and violent nature of the painting. Though we have come a long way in terms of LGBTQ rights there still remains the underpinning of age-old homophobia throughout the planet. In Gongora's version titled Fight, he has re-placed Bouguereau’s spectators with the present-day viewer. There is no flying demon overhead ready to sweep the characters away into Hell. Individual perception is the measuring rod that determines how one sees and experiences the image.
Humanities “reality” is up to us to create. First within our self - within our minds and then within our communities. And until every child, woman and man are perceived with equal measure we must keep changing the point of view in order to change minds. Learning to see things in a new way is the key to changing perception. Changing the point of view is a quick way to get there. Give the eyes something new to observe and the brain changes. Consciousness expands with each new interpretation and we are able to see more and be more.
Color Play, series
Color Play is the evolution of Gongora’s exploration of scribbling. The Color Play collection is a joyful celebration of color caught within the lines of a pencil scribbles. Each painting is 7" x 9" on paper with acrylic paint.
Coupling Love is..., series
Coupling Love is … is Anthony Gongora’s first digital painting collection. All of the paintings were created on the iPad using the Inspire Pro application. Coupling is an intimate portrait of the unfolding of love between two men. The paintings are colorful swirls, scribbles, dashes and dots layered with body-moving-towards-body in acts of love, affection and passion. The depiction of sex within Coupling is tender erotica and is intended to challenge the viewer to see beyond his/her personal perceptions regarding intimacy and specifically the act of making love.
Gongora created Coupling as a reaction to the ongoing struggle for equality within the LGBTQ community, especially concerning gay marriage. Gongora believes that all couples are entitled to the legal right to marriage and that homophobia is not a defining element that determines who is allowed to marry or not. Coupling is homogeneous to all people and is as natural as breathing -- it is the initial moment where love ignites and the point of reference from where the future is born.
The Coupling paintings are displayed in the order of sequence in which they were painted. All of the abstract versions, which form the backgrounds for each figure painting, start on the 10th digital painting. Gongora had originally been experimenting with the backgrounds as an atmosphere for the figures to inhabit. With the completion of painting ten, titled "Spoon," the realization that the backgrounds were as visually exciting as the figurative work became apparent to Gongora. The abstract paintings stand on their own as a reflection of a subconscious version and expression of Gongora’s intent.
With the Inspire Pro application, Gongora was able to duplicate the abstract background and then paint the figures onto the duplicate. Using his fingers, the backgrounds/abstracts were painted fast and furiously. Gongora’s intent was to cover the entire surface of the digital canvas and to not repeat color patterns. For the figure painting, Gongora used a stylus pen for more precision and control of line. The figures surfaced through the abstractions, unedited in their action, emerging in the act of sex, a gentle embrace or intertwined peacefully at rest. Gongora did not sensor the action to accommodate one specific audience, but instead he hoped to illuminate the moments in coupling that are universal and experienced by all on the path to love.
Stars and Stripes The Deception, Series
Stars and Stripes the Deception Series Video Art
Tzveta, Video Portrait
"TZVETA" is a film short crafted as a portrait of a woman. Intense imagery works to reveal the flow of a beautiful life, layered and complex and driven by movement through imagined spaces, saturated with color, motion and symbolism. The film cascades with shifting emotions and ephemeral views of a woman moving through her time on this earth.
Monster Metal Man, Performance
Monster Metal Man was conceived of by Maida Withers and choreographed and performed by Anthony Gongora. Monster Metal Man was included within the larger evening length work, MindFluctuations, which premiered March 19, 2015 at the Lisner Auditorium, Washington, DC. This version of Monster Metal Man, was performed at the Ailey Citigroup Theatre, NYC, as part of the American Dance Guild, Dance Festival 2015.
The premise of the solo, Monster Metal Man, was to examine the theme of the monster within. David Page designed and sculpted the helmet for the solo, which added a great source of inspiration for the choreography. With the helmet on I felt as if I were being transported back in time to the Roman Empire and the Gladiator Games. The idea of the Gladiator, who was often times enslaved and trained to release his monster within for the purposes of entertainment, became the point of access for my psychological and metaphorical monster within. Using my memories of Ancient Roman art, I developed the physical postures and forms for my choreography. The motivation psychologically for the performance of this character sprang forth from the concept of being forced to fight. I considered the complex aspects of the internal conflict and division of self which would manifest under such circumstances. The monster within character that I developed is a divided self who is at once both enraged and pleading for release from his enslavement. The music was composed and played live for the performance by sound artist John Driscoll. Within the sound design you will hear my voice sampled through out the score. I vocalized a harsh and strained inverted scream, which John recorded and then sculpted into his beautifully textured and haunting soundscape. Tania Fraga, computer artist, São Paulo, Brazil, created the cyber world. Lighting design is by Izzy Einsidler.