Leo Gonzales was born in Santa Fe, New Mexico on September 9, 1973. His interest in art can be traced back to 1975, when his mother, (also an artist) found him trying to trace a character out of a coloring book. She then took it upon herself to teach him how to draw.
During childhood, Leo spent most of his time drawing and daydreaming of monsters. He began oil painting in 1988 and is largely self-taught.
In 1992 he met R.K.Sloane, an artist he had idolized for many years. This meeting eventually led to a friendship and unofficial mentorship that would last until R.K.’s passing in October of 2006. Leo remains forever influenced by whom he calls “the greatest punk rock painter of all time!”
In 1989 Leo did his first tattoo on himself using homemade equipment. He has been tattooing professionally since 1994. He runs his own tattoo studio/gallery, Stay Gold (est. 2000) in Albuquerque, NM.
Leo’s work has been published in numerous magazines and publications, most recently the slip-cases two volume set- The Biomech Encyclopedia. His paintings have been exhibited nationally at various gallery’s and exhibitions including Keep Contemporary, Pop art Gallery, & the IX Arts Showcase.
Numerous paintings and drawings of Leo’s have been also been published as album covers and t-shirt designs since 1996. He has been involved in the local punk rock/metal music scene since 1989. His bands include Slightly Insane?, Scourge, Word Salad, Bulletrainmafia, and SHOGGOTH.
Leo’s art has also been heavily influenced by his love for role-playing games, and miniature war gaming. He has spent countless hours neglecting his other art duties in order to paint miniatures.
In August of 2003, Leo’s greatest work of art was brought to light in the form of his son, Avery.
Leo remains a self proclaimed geek and weirdo, and will continue his artistic onslaught until he becomes food for worms.