Another Pilot Down: The Artwork of George Gonzalez

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Thankful for my mother and her never-ending support

Being a student and studying art in school while also trying to be creative and allowing yourself to have a safe space to grow as an artist and express yourself isn't easy unless you have the support from your family. Because of this I am blessed to have the support and understanding of my mother. Never for a second do I forget all the trials and tribulations in which my mother has done for me. She has an unmatchable drive to be there for her children.

For instance, since my condition [Marfan Syndrome] was discovered when I was two years old, many of the doctors told my mother that I would not get to live past the age of thirteen. For such a long time, my mother struggled with this information, yet not once did she let that show to me or my brother. Instead, she let me continue to go out and play outside with my cousins and friends (despite that many people around her were worried that I might get hurt due to being very skinny and frail.)

To her, there was nothing wrong with me.

She had faith that these doctors were all wrong and that I would defy everything that they had tried to make her believe. My mother gave me a childhood when so many physicians said I belonged confined to a bed. Now I am twenty-eight years old, in my senior year of college and preparing for graduate school. Still, to this day my mother continues seeking the right doctors and supporting me on all my endeavors as both an artist and a person. My trip to Italy wouldn't have been possible if I didn't have the overwhelming support of her. Even though I know she sometimes doesn't agree with all of my views or controversial artwork, she always lets me be myself. It takes great courage and a tough skin to go above and beyond for your son or daughter. That is why this mothers day I am reminded of how truly grateful I am to have my mother in my life.

**Originally published in Spanish in the May 12th, 2012 issue of Antesala

Sunday, March 30, 2014

The Chameleon Crossbow

[Place Holder]

Saturday, March 29, 2014

G-90 Sniper Rifles


The Chameleon Uzi's


LIN-g077: Shotguns

Background Information:
Probably the most ambitious and experimental of the entire series. One of the main themes I wanted to keep true in #CrutchGuns was to really minimize the number of foreign objects that aren't of wooden and aluminum crutch materials. Aside from the obvious paint job, the crutch guns need should mainly stick to just crutch parts. These two guns however, do incorporate a lot of various different parts otherwise not associated with crutches.

This was probably the 5th crutch gun to have been created. It was also the first to break away from the wooden crutches we had been using, and instead we incorporated pieces of aluminum crutches from a failed art project I did a few years ago.

..and boy did it work out in our favor! Admittedly, I was a little turned off by having to paint over aluminum due to the fact that I have had problems in the past with paint constantly chipping off or getting scratched. However, I had no problems this time around. The spring for the forearm was also an added bonus my father thought of. Originally when I first penned the idea to have a grippable forearm in the magazine tube, I wanted something that was going to move back-and-forth. The inclusion of the spring instead was much better and a lot more fun for people to use. At first I was a little hesitant of the spring, but ultimately my friends and classmates didn't seem to mind it all one bit.

I have to say, my dad really took control over this model. The design evolved right in his hands. The idea for a double barrel shotgun was always in the works, but his execution couldn't have been better. There were several different designs we tried for the gun's chamber all of which were failing us. After a few attempts and keeping it wooden we decided to go for steel instead.

I must admit I was very hesitant to even keep going with this design because it truly departed away from the original concept. Nevertheless, in the end I am very pleased with the weapon. The added shotgun shell ends at the crack, totally give it a more realistic feel to it. Alas, this design really makes the LIN-g077 shotguns so unique and further perpetuates this series towards the many possibilities it can do.

Additional Information:
- The name LIN-g077 is named after my father Lingo and the seventy-even stems from his “favorite year.”
- “My Baby Blue” takes the name from the Badfinger song, “Baby Blue.”
- The double barrel shotgun color scheme is actually inspired by favorite superhero, Batman.. which is odd considering the characters' aversion to guns.
- Despite the various steel hinges, metal spring, and bolts, this isn't the set that has the most foreign objects in each gun. That record actually belongs to the Chameleon Uzi's.

AP-D28: Hunting Rifles

Fresh off the heels of the newly designed G-23 Assault Rifle, this was second weapon created for the series. It's aesthetic spawned from the idea that I really wanted to make a much longer gun than the assault rifle. I felt the G-23 was slightly small and that I wasn't properly utilizing the pieces I had available. So going for the look of a traditional hunting rifle, I felt the need to make this one longer in length.

..and it actually worked. For such a long time, the gun succeeded on its own and didn't really get to have the scope attached till a little bit after. However, one can see that not all the kinks were yet flushed out seeing as the trigger and the trigger guard look a little uneven and a bit sloppy in design.

Coming off the from both the Shotgun designs and the Chameleon Uzi's, I felt like I need to revert back to a much more "all-crutch" design since those required more than just crutch pieces.

This “varnished” hunting rifle was heavily inspired by the traditional American long rifle, also known as the Kentucky Rifle. It was known for it's unusually long barrel and after really wanting to construct another long weapon, we decided to go construct one like this.

Needless to say, it was quite possibly the most minimalistic gun of the entire #CrutchGun series. Like the blue shotgun and double barrel shotgun before it, my father really took the initiative with this sculpture. Stripping it down to it's bare wooden essentials, I decided early on not to paint this particular design, let alone put any pads on it as well. It's extremely minimal use of foreign objects and sleek design make this one straight to the point.

Nevertheless, after a lot of consideration and love for this unique model, it's pretty much a given that when I continue the Crutch Gun series, they will take a much more natural and minimal approach and will be in the same vain as this.

Additional Notes:
- The Varnished Long Rifle was the fastest of the series to have been finished. It didn't take any more than an hour to make. It was also the ninth gun we completed for the series.
- The Orange/Blue Hunting Rifle was also done very quickly only taking a few hours. This might also have to do with the rifle not actually having a scope.
- The Gold/Black Hunting Rifle (with Scope) was the second gun to have been created in the series.
- The AP-D28 name comes from the acronym to my online web gallery, Another Pilot Down and the 28 is taken from my current age.

Friday, March 28, 2014

G-23: Assault Rifle

Background Information:
Riding on last year's Best of Show winning sculpture, the G-23: Prototype (pictured above), these set of guns were not necessarily the easiest to create, but were definitely the most accessible.

However, the main idea behind these rifles meaning was originally going to take a much serious commentary (mainly social issues dealing with gun control in the United States.) Originally conceived around the Spring of 2013, the series was to be a part of a performance art. Since I would have manufactured close to 20 assault and hunting rifles, I would have distributed them to people in attendance of the exhibition. I would have been dressed as some kind of goth-rocker version of a dictator with two scanty-clad women in uniform standing beside me as sexy body guards (also holding crutch guns.) It was to be both over-the-top but contain a lot of political undertones.

The guns would have all taken a black and red color scheme that resembled that of Nazi Germany or Soviet Russian propaganda posters. It would have also taken a very Occupy Wall Street aspect to in terms of the actual performance. However, amongst the anti-communist overtones, the entire performance would have been very ambiguous in a way that it would be up for interpretation in terms of where I personally stand on the subject of gun control.

Nevertheless, the idea was scrapped and instead I decided to take the crutch guns into a different direction.

This was very first gun for the 2014 #CrutchGuns series and as I mentioned above it still kept the same color scheme as I had intended a year ago. Despite the same colors, the gun and the rest of the series do not take the serious route.

I think a big part of my personality is that I really love the glam-style of rock n' roll culture of the late 70's and 80's. I just love androgyny and gender-bending characters and people. Glamorous frontmen and women such as David Bowie, Lady Gaga, Lou Reed, Brian Molko, and Joan Jett have in many ways shaped my life and how I dress and express myself.

Though gender and androgyny have nothing to do directly with this work, you get the idea; I love glamorous things. So in the end, I really wanted to have something that sparked that kind of rebellious, glamorous, and sorta trashy type of style. In that aspect, I combined a Jackson Pollock inspired approach to give the series more variety in terms of color scheme. Up until this point, the rest of the weapons were stagnated to a binary color schemes (ex. pads and cushions were usually one color while the rest of the frame was another.) This allowed much

This rifle was inspired by my friend Anelle. She always wanted me to draw her some flowers, with a sun and perhaps some bumblebees buzzing around. So, in a further attempt that I don't really take myself too serious. I did just that. Instead of painting them all, I decided to draw them using sharpie markers instead.

Additional Notes:
- These assault rifles are modeled after the AK-47 Assault Rifles.
- The name G-23 doesn't really mean anything aside from G coming from my name and the 23 just seemed to roll of the tongue.
- In the beginning of the development, I often described the Silver/Glitter assault rifle as “a flamboyant Jackson Pollock throwing up all over Lady Gaga.”
- I often refer to the Flowers rifle as Anelle, named after my friend who influenced me in making a gun with flowers.
- Though Red/Black was the first one to be created for the series, both Glitter and Flowers were one of the final 5 to have been created.