Imagine a new gallery of technically adroit paintings featuring M.C. Escher–like shifts in images and perspective: Gonsalves’ fourth, and first solo, pictorial outing.
The artist has one main idea, and from Imagine a Night (2003) on, he’s worked it thoroughly. Each scene begins at one edge with a realistic outdoor or interior view containing one or two elements that shift in either gradual or sudden transitions as the eye moves across. Here, clouds become mountains or whole continents, for instance, fallen autumn leaves are transformed to swirls of monarch butterflies, a row of open books becomes a row of doorways, and a high waterfall is a troupe of lithe Martha Graham–style dancers by the time it reaches the bottom. He tucks human figures of diverse ages (almost all Caucasian), including several self-portraits, into the paintings. Here, for a new wrinkle, he provides his own one-sentence captions, written in the same vein as Sarah Thomson’s lyrical comments in previous outings: “imagine a world… / …where the beauty that has fallen / can find a way to fly.”
It may be interchangeable with its three predecessors, but it still provides peaceful, gently unsettling visions for young dreamers. (Picture book. 7-9)