We had the good fortune of connecting with Irisol Gonzalez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Irisol, what is the most important factor behind your success?
One of the most important factors behind my success has been my ability to accept and embrace challenges as well as my openness to adapt in unfamiliar territories. This mentality has given me the opportunity to look for bigger and better opportunities that sometimes were beyond what I thought was possible.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I have a double mayor in psychology and political science from Appalachian State University. My art poses moral questions from a psychological and/or sociopolitical standpoint. I enjoy questioning motives in my work, and celebrating the gift and privilege of diversity and heritage. I immigrated to the United States with my Costa Rican immediate family at the age of 10. I grew up and went to college in North Carolina, but my upbringing was traditionally Costa Rican at home. Given my personal struggles defining my “home” and cultural identity, I am invested in developing public art that allows people to have a sense of ownership and belonging in their communities. My public work often reflects my interpretation of what it means to be a Latin American immigrant, a brown woman, and a person who has two cultures working simultaneously in every endeavor and experience. I am currently working on a new series dealing with “Machismo” in Latin American culture from a perspective that holds women accountable for the maintenance and propagation of their own subjugation. I am extremely excited to be working on an upcoming exhibition that will have my work on machismo displayed along side indigenous Mesoamerican art that will create a conversation of past and present. Because I did not study art, the challenges I’ve had to overcome have come from my own impostor syndrome. Although it has been a challenge at times, it has never been a barrier. Even full of fear, I will accept the challenge and give it everything I’ve got.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I would certainly take my friends to the Mint Art Museum uptown as well as the one on Randolph Rd. For outdoor relaxation, I could go chill with at Freedom Park. Then, we could grab a beer at Wooden Robot or NODA Brewing Company. For evening entertainment, I would suggest we go to Bocao Restaurant. They have the BEST music–from old school reggaeton, to salsa. They also have delicious passion fruit mojitos and desserts.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Artpop Street Gallery was the catapult to my career. It was through their recognition and support that I was introduced in to the Charlotte art scene with a bang! I also want to shoutout Charlotte is Creative for giving me my first grant and believing in my potential.
Brooke Brown Photography Ernesto Moreno Photography CHD:WCK! Photography