Anchor Points, acrylic, pencil. 16” x 20” mounted canvas.


By artist Alexander Gonzalez

March 31 – May 14, 2023

Opening Reception: Friday, March 31, 2023 6:00pm – 8:00pm Free

Inspired by the medical illustrations in journals and books, artist Alexander Gonzalez adapts and arranges anatomical figures to represent and tell an intimate story of his personal physical pain and its connectedness with various parts of his body and mind.

“Symbols help transfer my thoughts to my work on canvas.  My symbolism is used to heighten, strengthen, and tie in the overall theme and substance.

As an artist, I find my motivation lies in the physical pain and trauma I have experienced throughout my time in the military and young adulthood.  I find it’s easier to draw and paint to tell my story, than it is for me to talk about.  As I grow older my physical pain becomes more prominent and so does my urge to create.  I want to show you my story before that is no longer an option.”

– Artist Alexander Gonzalez

The Let Go/The Win, acrylic, pencil. 4’ x 5’ mounted canvas. 2022

About the Artist:

I am Alexander Gonzalez.  I am an artist. 

 I grew up in the Humboldt Park area in the early 80’s to Puerto Rican parents.  When gangs that sometimes included family members stood on the corners holding court and break ins and robberies were the norm.  I quickly realized that lifestyle surrounded me, but also realized that life was not for me.  I was more a dreamer, craving creative outlets and seeing figures in the clouds.  Fast forward to the late 90’s and early 2000’s, I found myself pathless, without direction, and searching.  Joining the military seemed like the way to find out who I was, go out on my own and “become a man”.  Completing 4 years and serving in time of war, I left the military in pursuit of something more.  Between then and now, I found love, created a reason to love, found my people, experienced lows and highs, learned to observe my surroundings, study people, and found a voice.     

Pulling from my experiences I touch on topics of pain, strength, and culture to express a growing confidence in my artistic voice.

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About the Contemporary Arts Program: The International Museum of Surgical Science supports a commitment to contemporary art and artists through exhibitions and programs that use the frame of contemporary artistic practice to examine new perspectives in medical-surgical science and our relationship to the body. The Museum’s Contemporary Arts Initiative includes rotating exhibitions of contemporary art, as well as an ongoing Artist in Residence program.

This project is partially supported by a CityArts Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events.

The International Museum of Surgical Science acknowledges support from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.