#StreetArtSaturday: Celso González Quiñones
Muralism, graffiti and street art play a huge role in the puertorican cultural scene. Historically it has been known that public art can be used as a political medium to speak about what we believe in and also to point out injustices. The artists from Puerto Rico have always been well aware of the powerful weapon they got and have never been afraid of using it to spread their message across the island.
One of the most relevant puertorican muralists of our times has to be Celso González Quiñones. He was born on May 17, 1973 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. From a really early age he felt attracted to artistic practices which led him to study Art in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico and then architecture at Sci-Arc, California. He has held numerous exhibitions locally and around the world in countries as diverse as Brazil, Argentina, Taiwan, Italy, Mexico, Ecuador, France, among others.
Nowadays he’s been working more with mosaic public art in the streets of Puerto Rico, however he has experimented with many other materials, formats and mediums that’s why he shouldn’t be reduced to only one type of artist. He owns a design company called CERO with his colleague Roberto Biaggi and together they develop all kinds of projects from different artistic fields such as scenography, furniture design, film works, etcetera.
Celso Gonzalez also likes to deal with really diverse concepts in his art. Some of his works are super introspective and talk about himself and his own journey, like a self portrait; but at the same time his work feels relatable and you can tell he always likes to honor his Loiceñas and Rio Grande roots. Although today he prefers to make more abstract and experimental art, we have seen many allegorical symbolism referring to his origins and his land in this past artwork through the use of elements like masks, el baquiné, el vejigante…
Throughout his career, Celso has collaborated with important artists from different disciplines, including Bill Viola, Carlos Cruz Diez, Ted Carrasco, Wayne Isham, Robi Draco Rosa, William Cepeda to name a few. For the last 8 years, Celso has been working on a commission of the government of Puerto Rico, developing around 40 Public Art projects that can be seen in monumental murals throughout the island.
Almost all of Celso’s projects have a significant social importance, as he says his involvement with the community has proven to be the most gratifying part of his work. He likes to include the local youth groups in the creative process and turn every project in a collective discussion where everyone can contribute