Albert Gonzales, a native of San Antonio, spent his early childhood and teen years living in several southside and westside neighborhoods. He studied business at Lanier High School and graduated in 2009. His first jobs were in banking where he worked as a teller. He left banking and served as a clerk preparing insurance coverage data for a retail pharmacy.
Gonzales drew and sketched in his spare time and was encouraged to become an artist by a total stranger who saw some of his drawings. He was intrigued by the idea of becoming an artist. Gonzales found desk work
boring and decided to try his hand in creating art. After quitting his job, he began to paint. Unable to support himself as an artist, he spent months on the street sleeping at I-HOPs and other retail stores that remained open at night.
Upon selling his first paintings, he traveled to Philadelphia and New York to visit art museums and study the masters. In Philadelphia, he saw a Henri Matisse painting of a vase with flowers that took his breath away. He returned to San Antonio and began a series of
paintings that he titled “Wabi Sabi” which he describes as a Japanese philosophy that can be translated to the idea of embracing the beauty of the imperfect, or in simple terms, perfectly imperfect.
His works largely represent flowers floating in a transparent vase, and he explained that he uses “water to tell a story of life by keeping the water in the vase in a
constant fluid motion even though the vase is on a flat plane.” One of these interpretations is in his example, “We all have our ups and downs in life.”