If this was a perfect world, I wouldn’t be releasing an episode of my yet-to-be-announced, not-really-ready-to-launch podcast. It’s not a perfect world — in fact, a pandemic has turned everything upside down, and I decided, “WTH … I’m sharing my interview with artist Raul Rene Gonzalez now because it will help elevate awareness of him and his art.” After all, friends have inquired what happened after I led a social media search for the artist behind the linocut print found during my quarantine organizing. So here I am … releasing an episode well before I am actually ready. In the near future, I will have this website set up so you can easily find the podcast … when I am REALLY ready to announce it.
ABOUT THIS EPISODE
Artist Raul Rene Gonzalez discusses his “We Hustle Harder” artwork that I recently re-discovered in my collection. We discussed where he is now, what he is working on, and transitioning to a new way of working during this pandemic.
ABOUT THIS GUEST
Born and raised in Houston, multi-dimensional artist Raul Rene Gonzalez explores topics such as work, fatherhood, labor, the working class, identity, challenging stereotypes, and abstraction through versatile methods of painting, drawing, performance, and dance. His work draws inspiration from personal and trans-cultural experiences. It ranges from detailed drawings of construction scenes on concrete to colorful abstract installations made of cardboard and duct tape, or drawings and paintings of personal experiences. Now living in San Antonio with his wife and two daughters, Raul spends his days as a stay-at-home parent. He also operates and manages Werk House SA, a converted studio space which functions as a short-term rental space and art gallery. Check out Raul’s work online at www.artistraulgonzalez.com and www.instagram.com/werkin_artistraulgonzalez.
Raul’s “We Hustle Harder” print is part of a series that he created in 2014 when he was in grad school at the University of Texas, San Antonio. Each print from the edition of 51 is an embossed linocut printed on Stonehedge paper (9 x 12 inches), signed and numbered at bottom right. BUY YOUR LIMITED-EDITION PRINT NOW!
UPCOMING FOR THIS GUEST
Raul’s next art show is “Doing Werk” at the Fort Worth Community Art Center, Sep. 4 to Oct. 31, 2020. Open Monday through Saturday, 9am to 5pm, the venue is located at 1300 Gendy Street, Fort Worth, TX 76107. Due to Covid, there will be no reception, and visitors will be asked to adhere to stated public health measures.
ABOUT THIS PODCAST
Hosted by me, Melissa Richardson Banks, the “MUSED: LA 2 HOU” podcast focuses on topics tied to life journeys connected to Los Angeles and Houston, literally and/or figuratively.
WHY THIS PODCAST
A year ago, I started thinking about doing a podcast that connected my worlds in Los Angeles and Houston. While my friends who are baseball fans might say otherwise, the two sprawling metropolitan areas are similar in so many ways — sister cities of sorts. In some ways, Houston leads the way and in other ways, Los Angeles is on top. That’s why I love these two cities so much. I get the best of both worlds. The two photographs of each city below describe how I felt at the time that I shot them: one as I was leaving L.A. (“Keep Something Alive”), which in hindsight, forecast my year in 2016; and the other shortly after I arrived in H-Town (“I Might Love You”), which mirrored how I was then beginning to feel:
Since August of 2016, until the pandemic, I have commuted monthly from Houston to Los Angeles where I had lived for over two decades. In Southern California, I am known for my work producing, promoting and navigating the art world, which includes managing the Chicano art collection of Cheech Marin, documenting the fast-changing Arts District of Downtown Los Angeles as a photographer known as @DowntownMuse, and running my consulting firm CauseConnect. In Texas, I was able to lay low for a while, enjoy art every day, and be a tourist while re-connecting with my family. My photography continues in Houston and I share images of life here online as @MUSEDla2hou (formerly @HTownMuse). Because I felt “MUSED” out and that is how I came up with the name of my podcast: “MUSED: LA 2 HOU” (if you are from New York, we pronounced HOU as YOU!).
While this is not my first podcast (I hosted and produced “A.D. Live” in 2013 and “A Muse on the Road” in 2015), this time, I had to learn and understand in-studio technology since my previous podcasts were more of an impromptu “woman on the street” format. I am learning so much, so forgive again how I am releasing this – learn with me! Between paying clients and contracted projects, I began researching what I should do, and then Covid messed up my originally planned format (hosting guests in my home, along with a live audience, salon style). Now, I also have had to learn editing and how to remotely bring guests into the mix.
- I am grateful for the skills of my friend Christopher Fudurich — mixer, sound engineer, producer and musician — for helping me with much-needed technical assistance on this podcast.
- I appreciate the talent and the generosity of David Strother (electric violinist and composer) and his musical collaborator Scot Ray (lap slide steel guitarist) for letting me use a clip of their amazing song “Gravity Plate” — which happens to be on the album “Space Yard” that has my Houston image with the same name as its cover. Buy their album on Bandcamp by clicking HERE.
- How lucky am I? I am also friends with award-winning designer and photographer Jon Berry who designed my podcast logo.