By: Gail Obenreder
Dubbed “The King of Transit,” Geraldo Gonzalez was born in Philadelphia, but he’s been living in – and traveling all over – Delaware since 1996. Even as a youngster, Gonzalez was always a bus and train enthusiast, and he’s taken that interest to an artistic level, sometimes against powerful odds and seeming indifference.
Inspired by his favorite subjects since Christiana High School days, Gonzalez creates drawings that pulse with energy, spilling over with the excitement he feels about creating. Working mostly with colored pencils and in watercolor, he creates Technicolor worlds brimming with buses, trains, trolleys and subway lines. He also photographs transit subjects for music videos and movie projects.
The artist focuses mostly on the vehicles themselves, placing them on colorful pathways and sometimes highly decorated, but he also peoples his drawings with smiling onlookers or passengers. And though he draws large objects using big blocks of color, the works have a sense of motion that mirrors his joy.
Delaware State Arts Council member Michael Kalmbach runs Wilmington’s Creative Vision Factory, where Gonzalez found an artistic home. Kalmbach, an early proponent of the young man’s work, remains enthusiastic admirer. In a recent News Journal profile, Kalmbach wrote that he immediately knew this “wasn’t just some artistically inclined kid who liked buses and trains [but] an authority on public transit [with a] knowledge of vehicles, their history, their drivers and their routes.” That first-hand knowledge continues to inform and enliven the work.
Over the past eight years, Gonzalez has become more visible in Delaware’s art scene, appearing in exhibitions at the Delaware Art Museum, downtown Wilmington’s MKT Place Gallery, The Delaware Contemporary and Delaware College of Art and Design. The University of Delaware has purchased four of his works, and Gonzalez was included in a recent exhibition at Philadelphia’s Fleisher Ollman Gallery.
Gonzalez is planning to use the Division’s award to explore new directions “from time to time,” continuing to seek his own definition of success – getting his art “what I want it to be.”
Artist website: https://thekingoftransit.wordpress.com/Fellowship Home