Matt Gonzalez: Quixotic candidate, collage artist

Independent vice presidential candidate and former San Francisco Supervisor Matt GonzalezRalph Nader‘s running mate — will have his art shown in the back gallery at Johansson Projects, a contemporary art gallery at 2300 Telegraph Ave. in Oakland.

gonzalez-art.jpgEntitled “Crossing the Delaware,” the show includes “collages from found objects creating faux personal narratives that evoke nostalgia and trigger subconscious embedded memories and associations. His art focuses primarily with found paper fragments, creating objects that adhere to his personal sense of equilibrium.” Kicked off with an opening reception from 6 to 9 p.m. next Thursday, May 15, the exhibit will run through June 13.

It’s not Gonzalez’s first exhibit. Left in SF posted some info in April 2007 about an exhibit at San Francisco’s Lincart:

Gonzalez used materials that he had found throughout San Francisco to create collages. Most of the pieces are small and used two or three items. There were two that he took cream color cardboard and broke the cardboard into pieces and placed it on a cream color backing. The examples are “With the Throat of a Silver Vale” and “Its Starry Paleness.”

Part of the fun was identifying the original source of the material that he was using for his collage. It took several of us to figure out that he was using a parking lot ticket for one of his collages.

His best creation was identified as “Winged Angel”. Using a paint sample from Kelly Moore Paints (the colors on the sample are identified Winged Angel and Beth’s Kiss), he creates the impression of an angel with pieces of foil paper and a torn piece of white cardboard, “Winged Angel”.

In some of the collages, Gonzalez took a great deal of effort to place the pieces. An example is the piece, “Now.”

What was not evident in the photos posted at Lincart’s website is that each collage is signed or initialed by the artist in large letters. In some cases, Gonzalez also noted the date of when he created the painting. Gonzalez is selling his collages for an average of $600. (That would buy a lot of chess sets for an elementary school.)

Several pieces have already been sold.

I’m not an art critic — some might call me a Philistine, and perhaps they’d be right — but… $600? I don’t think so.

UPDATE @ 4:58 P.M. TUESDAY: The gallery just sent me images of two of the pieces which will be part of Gonzalez’ exhibit:



Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • Collage artist

    Background information on collage art, one collage artist of renown Kurt Schwitters,is generally acknowledged as the twentieth century greatest master of collage art. Though not a direct participant in Dada activities, he employed Dada ideas in his work, such as his Merz works – art pieces built up of found objects; some were very small, some took the form of large constructions, or what would later be called “installations”. The Sprengel Museum in Hanover has a reconstruction of the best known of these installations, called Merzbau. For more information see
    Schwitters collages can sell for up to $200,000 and are highly sort after by major collectors, museums and art gallery’s through out the world.