Erik Gonzales was born in 1973 in New Mexico and was raised in Arizona, Colorado and Connecticut. In 1990 he moved back to Arizona and attended Arizona State University where he graduated with honors. He studied in Madrid in 1995 obtaining a second degree in Spanish Studies and Literature. After returning from Spain he moved to Phoenix where he currently lives and works. His time is spent working at his Phoenix studio and traveling throughout Europe with his wife.
It is his Spanish heritage that continues to have a profound influence on his work creating a dichotomy of new and old. His paternal family history can be traced back to 1564 to the region of Aragon. These ancestors made their way to New Spain by way of Azetecas in Mexico with the Conquistadors. His maternal family has its roots in Andalusia and came to the United States by way of a land grant from the King of Spain. The analytical side of his work can be traced to his father whose pioneering career as a nuclear pharmacist introduced the artist to the world of science at an early age. The deep textures and bold use of color represents his mother’s Andalusian background and continues to influence his use of mystical imagery within his work.
Mixing images and symbols to form allegories of time and myth, Gonzales pushes the limits of his material to create beautiful paintings of organic structures, representing the complexities of civilization and the hidden order of things within nature. He uses a rich and intricate mixed media surfaces composed of dried pigments, clay, and powdered marble. Gonzales has exhibited in several notable public institutions and invitationals such as the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, the Florence Biennale, the Bronx Museum, the Southern Nevada Museum of Fine Art and the Riverside Art Museum.