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Know Your Artist: David Gonzales

Posted on May 31 2016

David Gonzales is a proud Mexican-American artist and his work is heavily influenced by his cultural backdrop. Born in California in 1964, he first began drawing comics while in high school, basing the characters on himself and the guys in his Chicano neighborhood. Eventually his high school sketches developed into his first commercial comic strip, The Adventures of Hollywood, which ran monthly in Lowrider magazine, a publication devoted to cars, music, fashion, and cultural issues relevant to Mexican-Americans.

By the 1990s, Gonzales had developed his comic strip characters into a line of toys called Homies. Whereas some groups, notably the LAPD, criticized the toys for "glamorizing" gang life, Gonzales countered this argument by writing complex back stories for each Homie which showed their positive traits and emphasized their connection to real individuals from Gonzales's neighborhood. In this way Gonzales sought to provide an entertaining but true representation of Mexican-American life that combated harmful stereotypes.

Beginning in 2013, Gonzales shifted his focus to creating apparel featuring his art. Though it's a very different medium than comic strips and collectible figurines, Gonzales's apparel is still obviously rooted in his heritage and, like his toys, his apparel celebrates Mexican-American culture.

DGA apparel tends to feature a lot of beautiful cars and deadly women. 

Gonzales clearly has a fascination with bombshells from the Hollywood golden era, and who can blame him? 

We can never get enough tattooed representations of Marilyn Monroe, and Gonzales delivers some of the best inked Marilyns out there. 

We particularly love his Smile Now design, which features a Marilyn decked out in sugar skull makeup and slowly transforming into a skeleton. 

Of course she still makes for an incredibly beautiful corpse.

In fact, a lot of Gonzales's apparel is obviously inspired by Día de Muertos (or, as Anglophones know it, the Day of the Dead). 

In addition to vintage bombshells, Gonzales also portrays classically beautiful Latina women in sugar skull makeup, as with these fantastic Jaded Wedge Sandals (perfect for hot California summers). 

Also be sure to check out his Vanity Tank Top which features a supposedly vain skeleton babe -- but, hey, let's be real, if any one of us were that attractive as an undead skeleton, we'd be admiring ourselves in the mirror all the time too.

But our absolute favorite of Gonzales's badass ladies is undoubtedly the cigar-smoking, tequila-drinking, gun-wielding beauty of La Vida Loca

We can't help but admire her, but we're definitely intimidated by her. Apparently she's wanted dead or alive, but even if she were brought in dead, we suspect she'd charm her way out of custody with her skeleton beauty.

So be sure to check out the rest of this artist's amazing work and show him the appreciation he deserves. Know your artist, know your apparel.


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