Carlos "Kookie" Gonzalez, a long-time community artist who has dedicated his life to uplifting others through his empowering art murals and paintings that portray our Latino and Filipino history.
“Straight De La Misión”….. A reflection of life and culture in the barrio.
July 30 to August 31 at the SIY Gallery Showroom at the Tanforan Mall in San Bruno, Califas….featuring canvas paintings, prints and portable murals … live music reception ceremony August 21st from 1-3pm. Kookie will be painting at our new atelier showroom during the month of August around noon.
"Gonzalez attended SF State from 1983 to 1991, where he was a member of La Raza students. With the organization, he protested for multiple causes including solidarity in El Salvador and fighting for migrant farm workers. The La Raza students even initiated a sit-in inside former University President Chia-Wei Woo’s office, but Gonzalez said all of this would not have happened if it were not for a childhood friend steering him in the right direction.
Gonzalez said growing up, he would constantly get into trouble. He was a member of his neighborhood crew, the Leño Parque Locos. Gonzalez said that during his time with the gang, he was sent to Juvenile Hall, where he was sentenced to community service. As his punishment, he was required to work with muralists and he quickly fell in love with the craft, he said."
Most of his art reflects the phases of life he's experienced growing up in San Francisco's Barrio, The Mission District. He feels blessed to have experienced the movements and activism in politics, art and music from the 60's through today.
As a result of delinquency he was relegated to community service to assist muralists on community murals and took like a fish to water. While at SF State, he continued to receive on the job training by apprenticing with renown veteran Muralists such as, Chuy Campusano, Ray Patlan and Mike Rios.
After acquiring his Ethnic Studies degree, Carlos eventually found himself working as a Probation Officer in the place he dreaded as a teenager. During that time, he was able to give back to his community by working mural projects with troubled youth in his community. During his career as a Peace Officer, Carlos continued moonlighting on private commissions, community and commercial murals.
In the midst of the pandemic, Carlos was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in April of 2021. He started chemo therapy, radiation, and, in August 2021, had surgery to remove the tumor. Sadly, the surgery was unsuccessful in eliminating his cancer, and had to undergo another 6 months of chemo therapy. The experience would prove to be one of the worst and most agonizing periods of his life, however, as of April 2022, he's happy to say that the last round of treatment was beneficial and he's now in remission. It was a rough year for Carlos.
All sales of his paintings and prints from this special solo exhibition will go toward Carlos's medical expenses.
Explore Carlos “Kookie” Gonzalez's Murals and Art, in our beautifully designed atelier showroom at the Tanforan mall suite 247.
Exhibition dates July 30th until August 31st
Reception Aug 21st 1pm -4pm. Carlos’s band Mambo Street will be preforming at this very special reception.
See some of his work at our Folsom windows showroom at 1026 Folsom St in the art district of San Francisco