“I’m addicted to the creative process. I make art because I want to make people go 'Wow!'"
Born and raised in Idaho, Gonzo started traveling up and down the West Coast, then back and forth across the country, hopping trains and following the Grateful Dead. He finally settled in Denver in 1994. Gonzo was homeless for twenty years, but at the age of 50, his life changed when he was incarcerated. During Gonzo’s incarceration, he turned to art for entertainment and solitude and was quickly charmed by the meditative and therapeutic qualities of creativity. Gonzo adds, “I’m still addicted to the feeling of tranquility I achieve during the creative process.”
Early in 2010, while in a transitional housing program, he was introduced to the Reach Studio Program at Redline Contemporary Art Center, where he started painting while expanding his work with found materials. Gonzo has since exhibited broadly in Denver and is now coordinator of the Reach Program and a maven amongst Denver outsider artists.
For Gonzo, creating is compulsive. He always creates with this principle in mind, “to envision, dream, and create without fear of judgment.” As a self-identified Outsider artist, he creates and is drawn to art that is “uncooked” by culture, unaffected by fashion, unmoved by artistic standards, and engendered outside the influence of society. He relishes the euphoria of creation, a space that he enjoys every day.
For Gonzo, it all starts with drawing. Within his stack of sketchbooks, Gonzo has created a vast visual diary stretching back many years. His creative process is immediate, quick and sporadic. Gonzo delves into patterns that invoke tragedy directly through unrelenting intention and fierce unconscious architecture.
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