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Shattering Perspective With Rob Gonsalves, The Artistry of Magic-Surrealism

Welcome to the 40th insertion of DEMUR®, an analytical series highlighting the intricacies of the artistic world and the minutiae lying within. In this episode optical-illusion artist Rob Gonsalves twists our reality through hand painted, “magic-surrealism” artwork, blending the lines of perspective one stroke at a time.

Born in Toronto, Canada, Rob Gonsalaves originated as an architect at Ryerson University. His infatuation with perspective and the arts began early on, in practice of constructive sketches at the ripe age of 12 years old. He accredits his infatuation with manipulation to rock-band album covers such as Genesis, Yes, and Gentle Giant, each fittingly discovered in his teen years.

Gonsalves' first step into an artistic career begins at the feet of trompe l’oeil murals completed in the late 80’s. Working as a full-time architect for nearly 5 years, it was only after a positive response at the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibit (1990) that he walked in full stride to pursue his creative endeavors. Refining his capabilities since his youth, his progressive, intuitive work was far more complex than previous depictions.

In a 2013 interview, Rob Gonsalves revealed each painting takes a minimum of 3 weeks to finalize, but the planning, sketches and conceptualization can take upwards of 4. The unique, illusion based artworks are typically composed of elements akin to nature, architecture and life, humans viewed as a key focal point in many works. By creating a distorted view of reality, the artist shifts and deconstructs notions we often disregard as base level concepts, subconsciously forcing the viewer into a foreign perspective.

By using an animated medium as a catalyst to his mind-bending ideals, the transition between plausibility and magic-surrealism becomes seamless, exciting the audience in a challenging way. The cartoon art style makes for each sketch and painting to assume a sense of truth, bypassing the logical aspects of one’s brain.

Rob Gonsalves suffered from mental illness, unfortunately passing from self-inflicted injuries in 2017. Rest in Peace, (1959-2017).

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