Rob Gonsalves: Where Optical Illusion & Realism Meet


“The Rob Gonsalves’ art pieces you see below are the only repository of his work anywhere in the world! Although this surrealist painter’s original pieces are incredibly hard to come by, quite a few of his signed and numbered limited edition prints are still available for collection here at Marcus Ashley Gallery.”

Photo of artist Rob Gonsalves posing with his paintings. Explore his work at Marcus Ashley Gallery.

About Rob Gonsalves

Although Rob Gonsalves’ art is often categorized as Surrealism, it differs as each illusion is deliberately planned and results from conscious thought. Ideas are largely generated by the external world and involve recognizable human activities, using carefully planned illusionist devices. Artist Rob Gonsalves was born in Toronto, Canada in 1959. During his childhood Gonsalves began to express his artistic ability. Drawing strictly from his imagination using various types of media, he began to develop his artistic talent. By age twelve, his awareness of architecture grew as he learned perspective techniques and drew his first  renderings of imagined buildings.

After an introduction to Artists Dali and Tanguy, Rob Gonsalves began his first surrealist paintings. His work was influenced by Magritte’s  “Magic Realism” approach in tandem with the precise perspective illusions of MC Escher. In  post college years, Gonsalves worked full time as an architect; while painting trompe l’oeil murals and theatre sets. After an enthusiastic response in 1990 at the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition, Gonsalves devoted himself to painting full time.

Rob Gonsalves injects a sense of magic into realistic scenes. As a result, the term “Magical Realism” describes his work accurately. His work is an attempt to represent human beings’ desire to believe in the impossible.

Rob left this Earth June 14, 2017. An accomplished Canadian artist and musician, Rob was 57 and at his creative peak as he continued to create art that was loved worldwide. His family, friends and the people he touched through his art will keep him in their hearts, and keep his light alive.

Questions Answered

Rob’s collection of work is beloved and well collected, so unfortunately much of what he did in his lifetime is unavailable. However, Marcus Ashley Gallery boasts the world’s only collection of what is left. Fine art reproductions of Rob Gonsalves work are no longer being produced; So everything you see within our gallery or on our site are the remains of Rob’s live signed fine art collection.

Give us a call! Our world class art consultants can either find what you’re looking for, or show you more of Rob’s collection and other pieces you will love.

Magical realism. Rob was attracted to surrealism, but he always thought the subject matter was too dark. He attempted his own uplifting version of surrealism, but didn’t find true inspiration until he discovered the work of Rene Margritte. It was then Rob found his place in the art world, painting something intriguing and bright.

Rob found magic in reality. He saw the world imaginatively as a romantic with deep appreciation for simple things; He saw beauty in shadows and light. Shadows presented an opportunity to play with what is behind darkness, and light illuminated obvious overseen pleasures.

Rob went to college to be an architect. During his time in school he also continued to study and dabble in art on his own. His process for creating was the same in both disciplines. He began his process on trace paper to assure the illusion worked in the way he imagined it. By the time he began to paint, he had already put in months of work into the design. Painting came naturally to Rob, so once the design was done he could relax and let his paintbrush do the rest. Rob only produced three or four originals per year.

The late Rob Gonsalves’ art blends the real and the fantastic. Termed “Magical Realism,” his work is an uplifting take on surrealism, meant to inspire rather than convey grim complexity. Gonsalves’ early inspirations were artists Dali and Tanguy, although he carved out his own niche after discovering the work of Belgian surrealist René Magritte. You will see the latter’s wit and intriguing themes reflected throughout Gonsalves’ work.

Find Your New Magical Piece of Art

If you’re a passionate collector of Gonsalves’ work, then this is the ideal place to find a new addition for your collection. For the most part, only giclee reproductions of his original paintings are still available.

If there’s a particular Rob Gonsalves art piece you’re after, just get in touch with our world-class art consultants. They’ll be able to source it for you or recommend one that you’ll love just as much. On the other hand, if you’ve just discovered him and want to know more about his process and inspiration, our experts will be delighted to chat with you about that as well.

The Marcus Ashley Difference

At Marcus Ashley Gallery, we’re committed to providing you an outstanding experience as you look for that perfect artwork. We also offer in-house custom framing to help elevate your artwork’s look and timelessness.

Get peace of mind with our premium gallery services, with 100% insured international shipping and a range of financing and layaway options. We also provide certificates of replacement value annually, so that your assets are properly accounted for. Questions? Get in touch with us!