Art exhibit plays with light and depth

Mark Gonzalez’s exhibit “Navigating the Kaleidoscope” will be on display in the USF Centre gallery until Friday.

The main overhead lights in the USF Centre Gallery have been switched off, leaving the room bathed in a fluctuating psychedelic glow. Vibrant neon images projected on a lge and the pictures on the wall seem to shift in the changing rainbow lights.

This is Mark Gonzalez's kinetic art exposition called "Navigating the Kaleidoscope."

The exhibit opened Sept. 8 and will continue to fill the Centre Gallery with kaleidoscopic work until its closing reception this Friday at 6 p.m.

The idea for the exhibit came from one of Gonzalez’s childhood memories that he said he hasn’t been able to shake. 

“One of my first early visions of seeing depth and color that was really unique and undefined was in a kaleidoscope,” Gonzalez said. “When you walk around and see my work, a lot of it is based on the elements of fractal geometry… where things work together, the shapes come together… the lighting actually allows it to create unique representation.” 

Gonzalez was born and raised in Tampa. He attended USF in the 80s as a business major and never intended to become an artist. 

In 2012, Gonzalez presented at his first Art Basel in Switzerland and plans on attending a third time, this year. He said he is honored to have been able to bring his art back to Tampa and “complete the circle.” 

Gonzalez calls the left-hand wall immediately within the gallery’s door the “Rock Wall.” The art displayed there consists of fragments of photographs he took during his time working in the music industry. 

“In the post -Napster world, the music industry had all of this change … I was a casualty of that,” Gonzalez said. “I was kind of looking; did I want to get back in the advertising industry; did I want to get back in the music industry … I was in Spain and I was in the Guggenheim one day and I was like ‘Wow, you know what, this is what I’m going to do… and within five years I’m going to be at Art Basel.’”

Txgeo three sections, each covering one of the gallery’s walls. Adooa Gonzalez has created what he calls the “Surreal Wall,” which consists of pictures he took while abroad, across from that is the “Spiritual Wall.” 

Gonzalez said being back in Tampa and interacting with students that have come to see his gallery has been a touching experience.

“Each (student) will come up and tell me their favorite piece or something and that makes me feel good,” Gonzalez said. “They’re feeling it; for me as an artist, if somebody actually feels my work and it makes them happy, then I’m the luckiest guy in the world. I’m the luckiest artist in the world.”