Ernest (Ernie) Gonzales, a highly talented and equally reclusive High Desert artist, passed away in the Desert Regional hospital on Jan. 27, 2020. Gonzales, who was 76 at the time, and his wife and partner, Georgia Gonzales, have been residents of Yucca Valley for the past two decades.
Gonzales, a Mexican American-Pueblo Native, with roots in Las Cruces, New Mexico, grew up in Manhattan Beach. The influence of the urban, Southern California scene can be seen in his signature LA Lowbrow style, evidenced in much of his work over the years. However, once he learned the rudiments of painting from his wife, an artist and clothing designer in her own right, Ernie would go on to push his artistic boundaries in different directions.
He leaves behind several hundred paintings and small works that have never been shown. Many of these are colorful local landscapes and stylized black and white works. This estate will be available to the public after the body of work is catalogued and photographed.
Born in Maywood, California, Sept. 29, 1943, to Natalie and Alfred Gonzales, Ernie is survived by Georgia, daughter and son-in-law Heather and Steve Brownsea, granddaughter Madeline Brownsea, three sisters — Silvia Ederer and husband Doug Ederer, Arlene Kolich and Sandra Provencio — and two brothers, Val Provencio and Eugene Provencio.
Ernie was preceded in death by his older brother, Michael Gonzales.
Memorial plans will be announced at a later date.