Local artist finds outlet through animation

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Robert Gonzales presents his animated series “Ernie” to students in Room 218 of the nursing complex for Hispanic Heritage Month. Gonzales’ animation won an award in the Neighborhood Film Project 3.0 for the South Side category. Gonzales attended San Antonio College in 1991.  Photo by Manuel Bautista Macias

Robert Gonzales presents his animated series “Ernie” to students in Room 218 of the nursing complex for Hispanic Heritage Month. Gonzales’ animation won an award in the Neighborhood Film Project 3.0 for the South Side category. Gonzales attended San Antonio College in 1991. Photo by Manuel Bautista Macias

Animator finds a way to depict hometown through thrift store finds.

By Dorothy Braziel

sac-ranger@alamo.edu

Despite their presence behind the scenes, Latinos are still underrepresented in media, a local graphic designer and animator of the “Ernie” series said Sept. 18 in the Nursing and Allied Health Complex to an audience of roughly 30 students and faculty.

Robert Gonzales, a former student at this college, used the example of “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane employing Mexican-American animator Lalo Alcaraz for “Bordertown.”

“It seems like they are trying to tap into a market rather than tell a story,” said Gonzales, who created the award-winning series of animated shorts depicting life in San Antonio with the help of photos found in thrift stores.

As a maximalist, Gonzales varies his work from fine art to graphic art, often taking turns into entertainment. From there, the “Ernie” series began.

Gonzales scans photographs found in thrift store photo albums, traces the scanned photos in Animation, animates them in Flash and edits in Premiere.

“My art before tried to reference media,” Gonzales said. “I wanted to be a part of media.”

He got his start at this college, eventually transferring his credits to the University of Texas at San Antonio and graduating with a degree in philosophy and art history. Gonzales has spent 15 years as a graphic designer and two years doing animation.

“I came to SAC for the instructors,” he said. “Spending thousands of dollars at a private school is a waste. You’ll learn more at SAC.”

Gonzales’ work references religious iconography, expressions of life and fertility or just fine art poking fun itself.

Animation allows him to branch out further from his fine arts roots.

“I wanted to make something funny,” he said. “I’m not doing fine art; I’m doing entertainment.”

Gonzales’ visual artwork has been featured on the cover of the San Antonio Current, at ARTPACE, for The Witte Museum and for The Majestic Theatre.

The “Ernie” series and Gonzales’ artwork can be found online at www.mantecatron.com

 

 

 

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