The magical realism of artist Robert Gonsalves will make you do a double take. From one glance to another, his fantastical paintings display at least two different scenes. Trees morph into ghost-like figures while bedroom interiors suddenly become a sprawling forest. In each of these confounding compositions, the line between the multiple stories is a blurry one.
There’s a sense of childlike wonder in Gonsalves’ paintings. Often, the main characters are children, and the scenes are reminiscent of the bizarre, meandering scenarios that kids make up in their head. This is directly influenced by the magical thinking of his youth. “A childhood of daydreaming and drawing,” Gonsalves writes, “has evolved into a career of making paintings that are primarily a celebration of imagination.” Although he “took a detour” into architecture, Gonsalves revisited fine art nearly 30 years ago and hasn’t looked back since.
Gonsalves’ compelling optical illusion art has found a natural place in the publishing world. His paintings have illustrated picture books called Imagine a Day, Imagine a World, Imagine a Place, and Imagine a Night. They are all currently available through Amazon.