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J. Gonzalez holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco and is set to complete a Master of Fine Arts in the spring of 2024, both with a focus on photography. With an interest in photography that dates back to his early high school years, he learned through admiring the work of great photographers like Ansel Adams that photography is a form of art that can significantly influence emotions. However, the countless hours he spent in his school’s wet darkroom and later in a makeshift darkroom he set up in a walk-in closet at his parents’ house is what moved his interest from simply appreciating others’ work to a decades-long passion.

Initially drawn to landscape and nature photography through Ansel Adams’s work, his artistic interests have expanded over the years. Robert Mapplethorpe’s exceptional command of light moved him to create still-life images, while other photographers’ work with abstract undertones motivated evolution in his creative expression in that direction. Most recently, the meticulously arranged scenes with a sense of depth and the simultaneous relationship between everything within the frame from Jan Grover’s work motivates him to continually push the boundaries of his art.

While landscape will always interest him, particularly the rewarding aspect of sharing his unique perspective with those familiar with the scene and equally if not more so, to show someone who has never seen that small part of the world his perspective as seen through his photographer’s eye. J. Gonzalez believes the same is true for all other genres with regards to sharing his unique perspective. His still life work uses shadows and highlights to emphasize the subject, or its form, for work that leans towards abstract. With his abstracts, he hopes to spark curiosity in viewers, inviting them to contemplate both the creation process and what was captured. While some of the images’ subject matter is more obvious than others, the process of studying an image to make sense of it is one of the most enjoyable aspects when looking at abstracts. But whatever genre, the exploration of light and shadow remains the cornerstone of his creative expression, offering a fresh and unique perspective to all who engage with his art.