Jose Luis Gonzalez (artist)

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Jose Luis Gonzalez
JLG 3-13-15 Pasadena City Hall Courtyard.jpeg
Gonzalez in March 2015

Jose Luis Gonzalez (also known as J.L. Goez, Joe L. Gonzalez) is a restorer, designer, painter, muralist, sculptor, ceramist, appraiser, importer, and arts administrator.


He was the first born of a father from Jalisco, Mexico and mother from Arizona, USA. Born in 1939, in Aguascalientes, Mexico, Jose Luis arrived in Los Angeles, California with his mother in 1947. Shortly, thereafter, his father and his siblings started a new life in Los Angeles, California.

Jose Luis first attended Pio Pico Elementary School in Pico Rivera, later Malabar Street School in East Los Angeles. At the age of 9, he was enrolled in Assumption Catholic School; graduated, then entered Don Bosco Technical Institute in San Gabriel. His class was the first graduating class in 1959.

In 1957, at the age of 17, he was hired as an apprentice under Eddie Fusek at Fusek's Religious Art Studio, and performed projects, creating crosses, restoring religious statues, etc. He attended East Los Angeles College, studied under Olinto Marcucci Ramirez, Rudolf Vargas, Professor Aldana, Angel Hernandez, and was personal friend of the famed Rufino Tamayo.

Gonzalez has created numerous murals, shrines, monuments and restorations. He received a City of Los Angeles Certificate of Service for his chairmanship of The Los Angeles City Bicentennial Committee from Mayor Tom Bradley on September 28, 1976. He received the Bronze Medallion of Mexico City from Dr. Carlos Hank Gonzalez, Mayor of Mexico City, in 1981 for his contributions toward the Mexico City and Los Angeles Sister City project. In 1984 Peter Ueberroth, President of the Olympic Committee, along with Harry L. Usher and Paul Ziffren, presented him a Certificate and Bronze Medal for his contributions to the success of the 23rd Olympiad held in Los Angeles known also as the 1984 Summer Olympics.

Gonzalez was sentenced to five years probation in 1983 after admitting to a federal felony charge related to this enrollment in a federal jobs program for the needy and subsequently being paid thousands of dollars for work he didn't do.[1] The program was administered by The East Los Angeles Community Union (TELACU), a social service non-profit.[1] Gonzalez was also paid at least $458,000 by TELACU for contracts awarded to his art companies at the same time he was serving as vice chair of its board of directors, which was cited as a possible conflict of interest by the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General.[2][3][4][5]

Notable points in career[edit]

  • Founded Goez Imports and Fine Arts in 1969 to assist and promote Chicano and Mexican artists, to bring about a cultural awareness while beautifying the community through murals and fine arts.[6][7]
  • As project director and art director contributed greatly towards the creation and installation of the mural, The Birth of Our Art designed by Jose Luis Gonzalez's brother, Juan Gonzalez and assisted in design by Robert Arenivar, Ignacio Gomez and David Botello. This mural was installed onto the facade of the Goez Art Studio in 1971.[8]
  • A History of Our Struggle graced the store front of First Street Store, East Los Angeles (1974)[9] The mural measured 1,123 square feet total, 17 of the murals were designed by Robert Arenivar with the contributions of Jose Luis Gonzalez as project director, art director and historian, and Juan Gonzalez, and David Botello; while two center panels were designed by David Botello.
  • Dewar's Profile,[10] "Published November 1, 2014 at 1203 × 1674 in Dewars Whisky Ads and Posters"[10] The ad appeared in numerous national magazines and newspapers in 1975.
  • "Goez Art Studio's mural at the Centro Maravilla Service Center, 1975, offers a glimpse of early Los Angeles life. The 8' h x 60' w mural is divided into three panels, each portraying a different historical scene of life along Brooklyn Avenue in the community of Maravilla. Maravilla was one of the earliest settlements in East Los Angeles, which was originally home to those fleeing religious persecution in Mexico."[11][12][13][14]
  • In 1978, Jose Luis Gonzalez designed a ceramic tile mural that included a decorative border feature surrounding the City Terrace Library titled Ofrenda MayaMayan Offering located at 4025 City Terrace Drive, Los Angeles CA 90063.[15] LA County Arts Commission - Civic Art Active Projects
  • Jose Luis Gonzalez designed and executed the official Olympic Mural for the 23rd Olympiad, titled Bienvenidos a la Ciudad de Nuestra Senora La Reina de Los Angeles de Porciuncula held in Los Angeles July 1984. The mural 45' high by 100' wide located across the street from the Los Angeles Coliseum was painted with the assistance of Robert Arenivar, his son, Manny Gonzalez, Bernie Granados, Javier Vargas, Armando de la Cruz, and Tony Ramirez.[15]
  • Gonzalez was the Project Director and Head Sculptor for the City of Hope project in Duarte, CA in 1988. It was a two-year project which entailed the construction of a shrine for a 7' tall hand-carved marble statue of "La Virgen de Guadalupe – A Gift of Hope".[16][17]
  • A Mayan warrior depicted as one of many murals throughout the exterior and interior of a popular shopping, cultural, and restaurant center El Mercado de Los Angeles, on First and Lorena Streets in Los Angeles, completed in 1990. Mosaic tile.[18]
  • In 1991. Gonzalez created the mural work, "Building the Future", which is located in the Salesian Boys and Girls Club on Wabash Avenue in East Los Angeles. "In the foreground students are immersed in educational pursuits. Behind them and across a bridge stands a shiny downtown with Mother Nature looking on."[19]
  • In 1988, Gonzalez was commissioned by Time magazine to create a mural which had the likeness of actor Edward James Olmos as a rising star. "The mural was commissioned for use on the cover of Time for the July 11, 1988, issue."[20]


  1. ^ a b "TELACU: New Book on Agency". Los Angeles Times. April 27, 1999. Retrieved March 18, 2021 – via required)
  2. ^ "TELACU: Agency Told to Repay $1 Million". Los Angeles Times. April 17, 1983. Retrieved March 18, 2021 – via required)
  3. ^ Chávez, John R. (1998). Eastside Landmark A History of the East Los Angeles Community Union, 1968-1993. Stanford University Press. p. 207. ISBN 9780804733335.
  4. ^ Bauman, Robert (2014). Race and the War on Poverty: From Watts to East L.A. University of Oklahoma Press. p. 104. ISBN 978-0806185200.
  5. ^ Kurtz, Howie (August 12, 1982). "Audit Says Anti-Poverty Agency And Subsidiaries Misused Funds". Washington Post. Retrieved March 18, 2021.
  6. ^ "Mapping Another L.A.: The Chicano Art Movement".
  7. ^ Brightwell, Eric (September 20, 2010). "California Fool's Gold — Exploring East Los Angeles".
  8. ^ "Joe Gonzalez of Goez Art Studio Discusses the Mural "The Birth of Our Art"" – via
  9. ^ "A History of Our Struggle, 1974". Retrieved May 14, 2015.
  10. ^ a b "1975 Dewar's Profiles, Joe And Johnny Gonzales – Digital Poster Collection". Digital Poster Collection. Retrieved April 8, 2015.
  12. ^ "The Short Life of John Doe (La Vida Breve de Alfonso Fulano)". Retrieved April 19, 2015.
  13. ^ "La Vida Breve de Alfonso Fulano mural". Retrieved April 19, 2015.
  14. ^ "Tour of City Walls Opens Window into LA's Soul". LA Times. Retrieved June 17, 2003.
  15. ^ a b "Civic Art". LA County Department of Arts and Culture. October 13, 2016.
  16. ^ Street Gallery, Guide to over 1000 Los Angeles Murals by Robin K. Dunitz, Revised edition, RJD Enterprises, 1998 ISBN 978-0963286260 ISBN 0963286269
  17. ^ "Jose-Luis Gonzalez – Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles". Retrieved April 19, 2015.
  18. ^ "A Mayan warrior, Boyle Heights, 1990 :: Robin Dunitz Slides of Los Angeles Murals, 1925-2002".
  19. ^ "Building the Future – Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles". Retrieved April 19, 2015.
  20. ^ "A Rising Star". Retrieved April 20, 2015.

External links[edit]