“Gabriel Gross and the Perpetual Search” By Marco Antonio Rodríguez: Gabriel Gross (from Quito, Ecuador - 1952) is an extremely perceptive and sensitive man, whose art is the vital epicenter of his life. It is away from art that he withdraws and to which he always returns without delay. Art has been the core of his existential being. As a child, Gabriel, drew in secret (from whom was he hiding? himself? who knows?). His rich and varied intellect is due to his tireless longing for integral training and knowledge, always in the field of the visual arts. His experience as a producer, director, light and sound designer for multiple theatre productions, along with his dynamic personality, has led him to act in short films. Lightness and levity are the signs of Gross’s art. His visuals do not provoke, rather they ease. They do not invoke anxiety, rather they strengthen. They do not darken; they illuminate. They do not distract, rather they seduce. It doesn’t matter if his visuals penetrate one’s inner perplexities or confront themes of the environment. The artist, unperturbed, gives us a sunny and joyful world impregnated with tenderness. The dreams of his childhood and adolescence are a constant theme in his work. It is in this space that Gross houses his characters. “I dream with an art of equality and serenity, dispose of themes of disquiet or deprivation,” said Matisse. Gross reaches these high spheres, undoubtedly provided by his intense spirituality. He is a man searching for the essence of life, the meaning of his existence, its inescapable dialect of joy and sadness, drive and hesitation, isolation and hope. Vocation and creation lived to the fullest with a big heart, the heartbeat of a poet, and the steps of man.
Drawing reveals, as no other form of visual expression, the commitment of always learning. It is the yardstick for measuring how much dignity is in the artist and what this represents. Drawing is the visible line of the poet (and how much poetry is in Gross’s work!) to verify if something new and profound must be told and is truly worthy of shedding light upon. Gross always finds constant renovations and in them the development of truth, converting the drawing into his external breathing, under beautiful and harmonious forms and shapes; breath that, in essence, emerges from its more hidden meanders and becomes a third life in his work. Gross’s work is haunted by a dim picture, almost unaggravated, clean and precise, shaken by a slight blow (the child who lives in the artist? - walks on tiptoes across the picture).
The cardinal point of art is to indicate some exaltation in being, confirmation of life, and revelation of the human destiny. The rest is just a trivial exercise. This exaltation can be interpreted in two ways: one, through the wrapping of life, accepting the sensual vibration of the colors, the pace of the forms which are all one in nature constantly moving and transfiguring. The other is resolved in the interior labyrinth, accepting instinctive impulses, the findings of the conscience (meditation and introspective attention), and perhaps above all, abiding by the impersonal claims of the unconscious (the last ones are the prototypes, images that come without being desired, but demand to be expressed). In the pictorial work of Gabriel Gross, in a manner unlike many other artists, these two slopes converge: magical glazes vibrate against the light of the colors, composing and recomposing evanescent forms and figures but materialized through the alchemy of his art, art that is at the same time the expression of his inner or intimate voice essential, secret, the one that is planted in his memory. Gross uses strong colors, that are often dark or intense, white and black, and that attract him and his canvases and murals, as well as enliven, strengthen, and encourage. Here there is a Christ, beautiful and vital, to revive faith in life and in others. Or a figure that reluctantly gives us the feeling that he is enjoying the playfulness of life. Or, finally, a row of ghosts that gives us back dreamed up images, or vistas, in our distant childhood."
— Gabriel Gross and the Perpetual Search By Marco Antonio Rodríguez
— The students at Ereckson Middle School
Quienes hemos tenido el privilegio de visitar el taller de su casa hemos encontrado allí, no sólo los testimonios de una obra comprometida con el ser humano, con su historia, con nuestra contemporaneidad, sino también las huellas tangibles de una experimentación apasionada, vigorosa y siempre renovada con las técnicas más inusuales, sin dejar de lado ninguna de las posibilidades que ofrecen al artista del siglo XXI
Francisco Proaño - Washington DC"
I took up serious painting when I was 12 years old, after my paternal grandmother died. In her honor, the day of her funeral, I painted “Extasis” (having no material at hand, I did the painting on one of my own bed sheets, mixing a flour paste with earth for color), which depicts the face of a child weeping … the reflection of Christ on his face. The painting has won numerous prestigious awards, including the Oswaldo Guayasamin Award and the President of Ecuador Jose Maria Velasco Ibarra Award.