Roberto Gil de Montes


oil on linen
12 5/8 x 12 5/8 inches

Irreverent and serious, purposeful and inconclusive, Roberto Gil de Montes’ paintings explore the hidden images and forgotten or imagined stories of the exuberant everyday life that he sees. A black mark in the center is a void, or an egg, a mass grave, or a dance floor, a stage, and also a veladora-flecked piece of earth for planting. The canvas is fertile terrain on which to realign the spaces between the real and the imaginary: figures float in abstraction or are laid across surfaces, misfits and explorers in their own habitat. Roberto Gil de Montes was born in 1950 in Guadalajara, Mexico. As a teenager his family relocated to the United States where he later went on to receive a BFA and MFA from Otis Art Institute, Los Angeles. As a young artist he became involved in the Chicano art movement in and around Los Angeles, developing relationships with artists such as Carlos Almaraz. In the 1980s, he returned to Mexico City where he worked at the Museo de Arte Moderno and on Artes Visuales, the prestigious arts journal that explored visual culture in Latin America. Roberto returned to Los Angeles to concentrate on his painting practice and began to exhibit widely. He also became involved in the creation of LACE (Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions) and began to show with Jan Baum Gallery, the only gallery at that time to show Black, Latinx and Asian artists on the West Coast. In 2000, he and his partner, Eddie, packed up their home in Echo Park and moved, via San Francisco, to La Peñita, a fishing town on the Pacific coast of Nayarit, Mexico, where they had spent many holidays. Roberto continues to live in La Peñita and paints in a studio directly overlooking the town plaza, a block from the coast.

[excerpted from Kurimanzutto Gallery website:]