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Josue Gonzalez – Biography

Josue Gonzalez is a multidisciplinary artist currently living and working in Vancouver, British Columbia. His love for art began in 2006 when he became involved in the art form of graffiti writing, since then he has constantly been exploring and developing his practice delving into the realms of fine art and design.

Josue’s work transcends many art styles and mediums, he combines elements of tattoo art, graffiti, classical painting, illustration and typography. Josue specializes in creating imagery and iconography connected to his Salvadoran/Mayan heritage and the Chicano, Hip Hop, and Skateboard cultures he was immersed in while growing up across the southern and western United States. Through his art Josue wishes to create images that tell a story of the human experience; using ancient symbolism and mythology while referencing modern pop and street culture. Josue aims to create images that are relatable to his audience and that can provoke emotion or thought.

Josue Gonzalez also works as a commercial artist with formal education in illustration and communication design, applying his art style in many forms including painting, graphic design, logo design, tattoos, murals, lettering/type design and illustration. He is currently finishing a degree at the Emily Carr University of Art and Design.

Josue Gonzalez – Artist Statement

This collection represents my perspective as a first-generation Salvadorian here in Canada. These painting are inspired by my Mayan-Salvadorian heritage and the Chicano culture I grew up with. the style represents the duality of growing up with your environment while staying connected to your roots and honouring your heritage – a theme that can be felt across cultures. Growing up in the United States and now living in Canada, I have met many first-generation Canadians with backgrounds from around the world who share in this internal struggle between becoming a product of your environment while staying connect to your cultural roots. I felt that there is a way to honour both that is why I felt this was an import subject to showcase.

I chose to represent this struggle through paintings that are created to mirror the walls of the Latin American Barrios combined with the energy of the streets and ally-ways of Vancouver. Both to show where I come from, where I am now and where I am going.

The blocks of paint are what we call, “buff” marks. You would see this around the city, area of walls that have been painted over to erase local graffiti. I incorporated these buff marks in my panting’s to represent how our history is may be covered and forgotten, but there is still always that clean slate for the future, another opportunity – the beauty in the buff.

This collection is part of an ongoing series called “No de Aqui, Ni de Alla” which translates to “Not from Here, Nor from There”. These pieces represent the immigrant story, that at times is a story of struggle. Each piece carries several layers, layers that represent the conflict throughout history but also layers that represent the opportunity and possibilities that lie ahead when you start again in a new county or a new city. These layers represent the journey, the struggles, beauty and the opportunities that lie ahead.