Remembering alumnus Rob Gonsalves

Rob Gonsalves autographing a book
Monday, November 27, 2017

The Globe and Mail published a touching tribute to artist Rob Gonsalves, written by his sister, Debbie Gonsalves. Gonsalves attended OCAD University and Ryerson University’s Architecture program, practicing architecture briefly before returning to painting. After exhibiting at Toronto’s Outdoor Art Exhibition in 1990, he decided to pursue his art full-time.  

He became known for his fantastical paintings that combined surrealism, illusion and elements of architecture. His work appears in the 2007 book Masters of Deception: Escher, Dalí & the Artists of Optical Illusion.

Gonsalves passed away in June, near Brockville.

A short documentary about him can be found online.




Vanishing Into Thin Hair

Happy Together, 2013
Saturday, September 21, 2013 - 4:00am to Sunday, December 29, 2013 - 5:00am

Opening Reception Friday, September 20, 6-10pm
curated by Patrick Macaulay

Work by OCAD alumnus Alex Kisilevich

Photography can often be illusion aspiring to the level of the mythical. Alex Kisilevich attempts to dissemble those notions, not by belittling the illusory, but by using the falseness of the studio to play on the tropes of studio photography. Kisilevich’s photographs divulge the constituent parts and backdrops of the photograph. The image consists of both the illusion and also the construction of the trickery. Much like a magician who shows how the trick is done while showing us the trick, Kisilevich let’s the cat out of the bag or – to stay metaphorically consistent – the rabbit out of the hat. That sounds risky for an artist, but Kisilevich is a consummate creator and showing the secret is not all he has up his sleeve. The imagery grows more expansive and evocative with the inclusion of the composites. He is safe in showing us the tricks, because that’s the fun bit. Not to hide behind the illusion, but to unveil the whole reason we love magic and these photographs are magic.

Alex Kisilevich is an artist living and working in Toronto. His work has been featured in publications such as Magenta Foundation’s Flash Forward, BlackFlash Magazine and Canadian Art. His photographs have been exhibited internationally, including a recent exhibition at the Kiyosato Museum of Photographic Arts in Japan. Kisilevich is represented by Angell Gallery.

Image Credit: Happy Together, 2013


Venue & Address: 
Harbourfront Centre, Photography Gallery 235 Queens Quay West Toronto, Ontario