What do you get when you cross the lead vocals and saxophonist for a popular band in Manila with a paintbrush? You get Rodel Gonzalez, the only Filipino artist authorized to do interpretative fine art for Star Wars and Disney.
These are no run-of-the-mill computer generated artwork, either. Rodel does the work the traditional way, with oil or acrylic on canvas. His artistry lends a depth to the captured scenes that makes it far more evocative than a mere digital print of the original. The work is so stunningly alive that even George Lucas was moved to buy four of his first Star Wars originals.
Rodel Gonzalez has come a long way from the eager 20-year-old art graduate from UST embarking on an exciting career in music. He founded the Side A band in 1985 together with brother Naldy, who is still with the band today. He was songwriter, lead vocals and saxophonist. Rodel also took this time to get his degree in interior design. The restless spirit was always upon him, and he found an outlet in teaching and ministering to the needs of others even as he continued to produce commissioned works of art and maintain ties with the music industry.
It was in 2002 that he finally yielded to the promptings of his artistic heritage. As the grandson, son and brother of well-known Filipino artists, it was almost inevitable that he would eventually join their ranks. However, his precision and energy differentiates him from the others. On his Facebook page, he wrote, “Many artists have influenced and inspired me to be who I am today. However I do believe that there’s should be a “letting go” in the process…the force of who you are will manage the creative process.”
The force indeed. The force of his personality and his dedication to his work has made him a popular artist all over the world. He shines in events such as the San Diego ComicCon. The limited prints of his work on online art galleries such Wyland Gallery, James Coleman Studios, The Magic of Disney Art, as well as his own website sell briskly. As one recipient of his prints enthused about a scene from Frozen, “Love this. My husband surprised me with this painting for our wedding…Thank you so much for your beautiful work.”
Rodel loves the work he does with Disney. He mostly chooses the classics, because they resonate with him the most. “Having the opportunity to create Disney paintings is such a treat because Disney was definitely part of my childhood.”
The approaching date of the next installment of the Star Wars series has also driven him into a frenzy of production. One of his paintings is the cover of the December issue of Rock Star Magazine dedicated to the Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens movie, a testament to the excellence of his work.
Rodel does not confine his talents to popular genres, however. He frequently produces and exhibits numerous pieces on wildlife and Low Country, which earned him a place in the Endangered Arts Gallery at the Hilton Head show.
This prolific artist might enjoy “love painting around 4-5 pieces simultaneously,” but you will definitely see that “…the journey to completion is always the best part of this whole process.” Each piece is vibrant, fresh, and a joy to behold.
You can see and purchase art works of Rodel Gonzalez by visiting his exhibit at the Bonifacio High Street Cinemas from December 16 to 20, 2015. He will be featuring original work, prints and posters, and each one is for sale.
For more information or to order online, please visit his website at www.theartofrodelgonzalez.com.