Galleria Dante Presents Efren Gonzalez Opening at Southside Shuffle
Gena Guarniere - Galleria Dante

December 14, 2016

As part of the Southside Shuffle in Old Town Vallarta, Galleria Dante invites you to the cocktail opening exhibition of Efren Gonzalez on Friday December 16 2016 from 6:00 until 10:00 pm. Come meet this exciting artist!

Efren Gonzalez resides in Ajijic, (his birth place) with his family, in a home he built entirely from the sale of his paintings. For years he struggled with the dream of living and supporting his family from his art; a dream he realized everyday, brick by brick. Born on June 1, 1972, this 44 year-old, impassioned, local talent, stands out even in the pantheon of Lakeside greats. His paintings are intensely alive, full of color, meaning and insights into Mexico.
"Art started with a pencil," Efren says, "almost as soon as I could hold it," and despite a few short detours, the journey to becoming a "working" artist began early. Efren grew up in Ajijic, winning local and regional drawing competitions as early as primary school. Although he preferred Art to Math and Chemistry in high school, he still didn't know that one day it would be his career. Sometimes, he still lacks confidence, he admits.

After high school, Efren started out studying Architecture and then Plastic Arts, but shortly found that he hadn't the patience for either. What career would suit him best? He had worked in restaurants, fabricas, and as a translator, but only to gain his daily bread, his sueldo, drawing and painting all the while, as a function of his being. Still undecided as to what to do, Efren was offered a grant to study Art at a small college in Maryland. He made the most of the opportunity. More than anything he learned there, he was enriched by seeing in person, great works he had only admired in books. One year later, he returned to Ajijic and took up his brush.

Leaving the hardships of the days when he peddled his work himself, Efren is now sought after by galleries across North America.

A prodigious painter in all media: watercolor, pastel and acrylic, but oil is his preferred medium. Efren participated in the famous Neil James art program in Ajijic. He studied with various artists: Antonio Cardenas; International painter, B.R. Kline; watercolorist. Luis  Eduardo Gonzalez; sculptor Kent Clark and etching master, Juan Navarro.

Efren paintings depict the things he sees in everyday life – the colorful people and landscape of his beloved Mexico. He is equally well known as a muralist having completed his first intricate mural in the 90's and since then many more in his beloved Ajijic.  Efren will be painting in the gallery several days before his show, so please come meet this talented young man.

Galleria Dante is located at #269 Basilio Badillo in Old Town Vallarta. Telephone is (322) 222-2477. While there, visit the upstairs wine bar, Di Vino Dante.

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