Christopher Gonzales

Although his post-graduate training was received from several notable institutions abroad such as the California College of Arts and Crafts and Spellman College, Atlanta, Georgia, Christopher Gonzales can claim an art-historical lineage that references his earliest influences from the Jamaica School of Art. As one of the first students to graduate from the institution, his works reverently acknowledges the symbolism of Edna Manley, and the paintings of his tutor Barrington Watson. Yet, none of these influences overshadow the distinctive aesthetic in Gonzales’ work. His sculptures demonstrate strength of character and motifs that sometimes even sets him at odds with his viewing public.

His work combines a strong individualism, a deep concern for humanity and nature, abstract symbolism, religion and mythology with a keen perception and an intimate knowledge of his craft. The heightened symbolism of his work borders on the romantic and there is a sense of passion in every work that he creates. In addition, his stylised African references are at once Fang, Baule, Egyptian and Coptic, synthesised by his Jamaican artistic sensibility. These works indicate that the source his fervour is connected to his deepest sense of self and identity as a Caribbean artist. This makes his work enormously appealing to local viewers. They recognize a striving for a personal language that can best represent the region’s multi-cultural heritage.

The commanding scale and distinctive quality of Gonzales work has meant that he has often been invited to execute public commissions. He has had major commissions from the Government of Jamaica including a copper relief gift for the Cuban people (1977) the Bob Marley Memorial Sculpture, now housed at the National Gallery and Father and Child, presented to the President of Mexico in 1993.