Gabriel "GG" Gimenez can get deep. Spend some time talking about life with him and you'll come away looking at things from a new perspective. The Venezuelan-born artist portrays philosophical views in his paintings through the character he created, "Fado." A cartoon he describes as no one but that connects with everyone. Love, life, politics and the environment are some of the topics often depicted on his canvas. We visited GG at his Little River studio tucked away behind an inconspicuous gate. There we learned about an artist that is driven to create and connect, but also helping brands reach the communities they serve in new ways. We discussed his career, his upbringing, and his new venture called Unconventional.
How did you get started in art, what's your earliest memory?
I remember as a kid drawing Pokemon on different papers and putting them up on the walls in my room. Early on I didn't consider that art, it was more something I just did like playing with toys. As a kid, I did a little bit of theater, and that I considered to be art. Maybe because I had a bit of guidance and a teacher, it felt like legitimate art.
So when did you begin to see yourself as an artist that wanted to created visual art?
In high school it switched for me. I felt this need to just fucking draw things. It became this intense thing to just create. I was never the art kid, and I became the art kid in a month. The art kids must have been thinking 'fuck this guy.' At that time I was drawing the things that I wanted to be in life. I was projecting my dreams. But above all, I felt determined. So much so, that once I had a painting I was carrying after school, and all of a sudden it fell and ripped. I put so much time into this, so I taped the back, repainted, and now it's still at my parent's house.
Who inspired you early on?
I didn't grow up knowing about art, but my dad was an inspiration. He always had a creative mindset, but he went into the business world. I remember our house in Venezuela having cool posters and ironically, having a very Miami Beach vibe. Early on, I was also inspired by Britto. He inspired me because he was able to expand on his art on a single concept. However, I stoped being inspired by his aesthetics the minute I started learning about street and fine art. Today Takashi Murakami is an influence on me more than anyone else. With street artist, I loved how they are able to speak to the streets. I tend to do that both on the murals I do and the paintings on canvas.
How would you describe your art?
My work right now is based on character design, which is influenced of social, political, and personal experiences. It's onthe cartoon-ish and pop art realm. I've
explored and built geometric abstractions that are different from the character based work. I walk a line of fine art, cartoon, and pop art all in one.
What is your favorite item in the studio?
My computer. Without it I wouldn't be able to build anything. It's an extension of me. It's where everything happens for me.
What projects are you working on?
Right now I'm working on Unconventional. It's the nine-to-five venture that has allowed me to have creative freedom. It's also a venture that goes beyond myself as an artist. We produce interactive murals that enhance social impact and strengthen brand relations. I'm excited that we are pushing the boundaries of making art. It allows professional contemporary illustrators
to showcase their skills of empathy and visual interpretation to create a bridge between brands and communities.
What do you want to accomplish with your art?
I just want to continue producing honest work and show things that I'm going through. People identify with the character because my vulnerability comes through and people connect with that.