Carmen (Bourassa) Gonzalez was born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, which is where she continues to live and create today. She never intended to become a full time artist; however, a traumatic experience, incredibly pushed her towards pursuing an art career. Carmen was in a serious car accident, one that led to a long road to recovery and intensive rehabilitation. What might have impacted many negatively, amazingly acted as a catalyst for Carmen to focus on achieving her childhood dream of becoming a professional artist.
While some use art to help heal or to convey the challenges they have personally experienced, Carmen’s art is fun, colourful and uplifting. While she considers her style as realism, there are overarching elements of illustration and pop art in Carmen’s work. She wants to make a statement with every piece and her lively works are filled with personality and evoke joyful memories.
Contrasting and complementing her realistic works are detailed patterned backgrounds that bring her work together. The end result are bold paintings – ones which appeal to the viewers senses. Ultimately, Carmen’s art can be described as a visual feast – a sight that others can “taste with their eyes.”
Her exploration into past memories and “visual feasts” began with Carmen’s Candy series, which was inspired by both her younger years as well as those of her children. Her candy series is about Carmen’s childhood recollections and how one’s inner child never grows up. Candy can lure one into enjoying their inner child again, to bring out a sense of more innocent and peaceful times. Ultimately, Carmen wants to make people smile through her art.
While candy was a starting point for Carmen, her pieces have expanded into other subject matter. Carmen loves learning about history and this passion is shared through her art, but not in a manner one would think. She loves to play on childhood memories, on feelings of sentimentalism. It is this passion for re-capturing iconic images of the past that drives her work. Carmen feels transported in time when she sees nostalgic objects, which is why she is inspired and excited about painting vintage subject matter. From telephones, clocks, toys and perfume bottles to other antique items, Carmen finds the craftsmanship of vintage objects beautiful. She is fascinated by the history and the possible narrative behind each antique, as well as the way these cultural items can trigger deep emotional and social connections.
Her love of art is evident; she spends hours creating and painting in her studio. She has always felt captivated and fascinated by art, seeing it as an escape into a magical world. With her playful nostalgic paintings, Carmen is sharing this escape with others. Her creative mind never rests, as she is continuously visualizing new artistic projects. Without the interplay of her decorative backgrounds, contrasting her still life works, her story, and her art would be incomplete.
Naughty 9ine Fast Facts with Carmen Gonzalez
I have been creating… for 16 yrs. I began painting in 2006.
I takes me around… 3 to 120 hours to complete a painting depending on the size of the piece.
When creating my go to drink is… a Mango Peach Turmeric smoothie
My play list when creating includes… a variety of music: Latino, funk, pop, R&B, hip hop, rap, country, jazz, and soul and some of favourite artists are: Stromae, Pink, Enrique Iglasias, Dua Lipa, Khalid
One famous person I would love to meet for dinner would be… Albert Einstein or Helen Keller or Wayne Thiebaud or Tara Westover or Noah Trevor, or Ryan Reynolds. What a dinner party that would be!
The last series I binge watched was… “Wednesday”, Season 1
The last book I read was… “Educated” by Tara Westover
Outside of art my interests and passions include… spending time with my family and friends, dancing, travelling, floral arranging, and reading.
My go to comfort food is… chocolate!!!