Rigoberto A. González


"The border is an area I am fascinated with and find rich with subject matter. As a painter working primarily on large-scale, mural-sized oil paintings, I have decided to make the border the focus of my work. It is a region where there is the confluence of two cultures, where the river not so much divides but unites. Most of my adult life I have spent in the Southwestern United States and Northeastern Mexico on the border. The theme running through my paintings is a merger of the visual vernacular of the Baroque and current border issues affecting Mexico and the United States – families whose lives that have been affected by socio-economic conflicts such as immigration policies and the war on drugs. It is the dramatic lives and stories of everyday individuals from border communities whose narratives inspire me to capture their stories on canvas. For several years the news media have been reporting stories on the rising numbers of families, especially children, immigrating to the U.S., and the escalating violence on the border between the U.S. and Mexico. This is too big a story to report through raw journalism. It is important for me as an artist to address these contemporary concerns and create a visual record portraying these events with an artistic sensibility. I believe that painting can evoke an authentic aesthetic experience that conveys meaning in people's lives and work as a catalyst for change."


Born in 1973 in Reynosa Tamaulipas, Mexico, Rigoberto González lives in Edinburg, Texas. He received his B.F.A. from the University of Texas Pan American in 1999 and an M.F.A. from the New York Academy of Art in 2004. He currently teaches drawing and painting at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. Gonzalez’s work has been exhibited at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC, the Konsthallen Bohuslan Museum in Uddevalla, Sweden, The Museum of Contemporary Art Branch of the National Museum in Wrocław, Poland, The Guildhall Art Gallery in London, England. Rigoberto has participated in artist residencies at the Roswell Artist Residency in Roswell, New Mexico, and at the Santa Fe Art Institute Artist Residency Program in Santa Fe, New Mexico.