Skip Navigation

Student Artist-in-Residence 2021 Anderson Goncalves

Student Artist-in-Residence 2021 Anderson Goncalves

May 2, 2022 // by MOCA Staff

Andy Goncalves Exhibition Page Carousel

See Goncalves' exhibition, Cultural Polarity, before it closes on May 8. 

Anderson Goncalves, MOCA's 2021 University of North Florida Student Artist-in-Residence, employs a wide range of media and techniques, such as screen-printing, collage/chine-collé, fabric, and oil/acrylic painting.

The exhibition Cultural Polarity depicts Goncalves' journey of growing up learning to navigate two completely different cultures and respective languages - his native African Portuguese-speaking Angolan culture and the English-speaking US culture. Citing influence from narrative techniques by artist Kara Walker, Goncalves creates a storybook timeline in the exhibition.

ag 3
ag 2

In the exhibition, a yellow string guides the viewer from piece to piece. A key component are the traditional African fabrics that Goncalves incorporates into the work. Using fabrics purchased from House of Mami Wata, Goncalves selects patterns worn by his family growing up, paying close attention to the tone the patterns and colors convey in each of the paintings - red fabrics evoke the fear he felt, and yellow fabrics represent hope. The textiles, in combination with his painting techniques, symbolically express the messaging within his work, and his experience learning to balance these disparate cultures.

Featured is the “Mother” series, an ongoing series that represents the artist's mother and home country of Angola. The paintings are created using non-traditional canvases, including fabric and wooden boards covered with newspaper clippings. Beyond the vivid colors, implied movement, and impasto application of paint is a common theme of the weight of responsibility the artist's mother carried, raising her children in Angola before emigrating to America.

ag 4

"Growing up in South Florida, many of the families I interacted with as a child were first generation immigrants, but very few were African," says Goncalves. "People's assumptions, and confusion, about my origins made me reluctant to speak my truth. In the painting, Assimilation, I have tried to show the frustration a child feels when they are singled out because of their origins. The kid is visibly irritated, carrying a stack of traditional African fabrics on his head, while the background of scratches and the yellow line further the sense of annoyance."

ag 1

Angolan Portraits, pictured above, portrays different aspects of Angolan life. The endless green and yellow fields represent the farming industry that drove Angola's economy and became a trigger for its civil war. The dancing figures are reminiscent of the country's musical and artistic culture, while the tall figures with guns and in red represent war soldiers and the violent side of the country. The figure in the middle, connecting the two canvases, is representative of the artist and his family and their desire to leave behind a troubled life. 

Cultural Polarity is on view in the Education Gallery on the fifth floor of MOCA Jacksonville through Sunday, May 8. Take a 360 degree, self guided virtual tour of the exhibition by clicking here




Gain access to a MOCA Jacksonville studio and exhibition space to complete a new body of work and hone skills over the course of a final semester. >> Learn More




Top Stories