elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,

Juan Gonzalez (January 12, 1942 - December 24, 1993)

Juan Gonzalez was a cuban-born realist painter. He taught for nearly two decades at New York City's School of Visual Arts. He died on December 24, 1993, at his home in Manhattan. He was 51.

The cause was AIDS, said his daughter Maria Schleifman of Manhattan.

A creator of meticulously rendered, often sumptuous paintings and collages infused with a sense of fantasy and religious symbolism, Mr. Gonzalez was adept at restating Renaissance and Baroque styles in contemporary terms. Some of his paintings took AIDS as their theme; others dealt with the complexity of human relations and frequently depicted family members and friends.

Mr. Gonzalez was born in Camaguey, Cuba, on Jan. 12, 1942, and immigrated to the United States with his family in 1961. In 1972, after earning a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Miami, he moved to New York City and had his first solo show, at the Allan Stone Gallery. Since 1975 he has been represented by the Nancy Hoffman Gallery in SoHo, where his most recent exhibition was presented in 1991.

Mr. Gonzalez designed the sets for two plays by the Spanish writer Federico Garcia Lorca: "Blood Wedding" for the Great Lakes Festival in Cleveland in 1988, and "As Soon as Five Years Pass" in 1991 for Southern Methodist University, which also organized a traveling retrospective of his work. He is represented in numerous public collections, including the Art Institute of Chicago, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

AIDS Quilt

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/1993/12/30/obituaries/juan-gonzalez-51-painter-in-tradition-of-realism-is-dead.html

Further Readings:

Beyond Shame: Reclaiming the Abandoned History of Radical Gay Sexuality by Patrick Moore
Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: Beacon Press (January 14, 2004)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 080707957X
ISBN-13: 978-0807079577
Amazon: Beyond Shame: Reclaiming the Abandoned History of Radical Gay Sexuality

The radical sexuality of gay American men in the 1970s is often seen as a shameful period of excess that led to the AIDS crisis. Beyond Shame claims that when the gay community divorced itself from this allegedly tainted legacy, the tragic result was an intergenerational disconnect because the original participants were unable to pass on a sense of pride and identity to younger generations. Indeed, one reason for the current rise in HIV, Moore argues, is precisely due to this destructive occurrence, which increased the willingness of younger gay men to engage in unsafe sex.

Lifting the'veil of AIDS,' Moore recasts the gay male sexual culture of the 1970s as both groundbreaking and creative-provocatively comparing extreme sex to art. He presents a powerful yet nuanced snapshot of a maligned, forgotten era. Moore rescues gay America's past, present, and future from a disturbing spiral of destruction and AIDS-related shame, illustrating why it's critical for the gay community to reclaim the decade.

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Tags: art, gay classics

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