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Doing Werk

Fort Worth Community Arts Center

Works by Raul Rene Gonzalez 

Visit Fort Worth Gallery

September 4 – October 31, 2020

Artist Statement:

In his solo exhibition Doing Werk, Raul Rene Gonzalez’s drawings and paintings focus on the efforts and labors of the artist’s daily life. Depicting scenes of himself with his daughters in the studio, home, and out and about, the work draws attention to how we parse the minutes of our day and balance our roles, responsibilities, and multifaceted personalities, through the lens of an artist-stay at home dad.

Gonzalez’s interests in construction, labor, and the working-class thread through these works through the subtle integration of safety orange, concrete, house paint, and scenes of teaching his daughters to use tools. Concurrently the work highlights the social and economic dichotomy between domestic work and manual labor. They bring to surface the values assigned to labor in different spheres, their gendering, and possible cultural shifts.

“Through this series, I hope to shift public perspective on how we often associate stereotypes based on gender, ethnicity, or education. Back in 2015, I chose to stay at home with our newborn daughter and balancing my art career versus becoming a professor and balancing an art career. Once I settled in at understanding my role in nurturing and shaping our children, I knew I wanted to use my platform as a working artist to share my experiences. And in doing so, I would open dialogue about being a parent and an artist, something that is often ignored or taboo.”

Raul’s Doing Werk series has been growing and touring throughout Texas since 2017. Raul has had a solo exhibition in Austin, San Antonio, Houston, Brownsville, and now Fort Worth. Some of the work from this series has also been included in group shows in Massachusetts. It is worth to note in 2018 Raul completed an artists’ studio residency at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art. During that time, he completed several of the small works on paper included in this exhibition.

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