Photo of Matt Gonzalez by Nick Bygon, 2008.
Art & Politics: The Matt Gonzalez Reader collects various interviews, opinion editorials, essays, art reviews, and other writings by Matt Gonzalez on issues related to art and politics, many of which are no longer in print or otherwise available online. The postings are reprinted from their original place of publication, including monographs and catalogs published by art galleries, which include:
As It Ought To Be
Berkeley La Raza Law Journal
Ceramics: Art & Perception
Fog City Journal
Frey Norris Contemporary
Golden Gate [X]press
Joshua Liner Galley
Jules Maeght Gallery
Luggage Store Gallery
Mark Moore Gallery
Michael Rauner Photography
The New Fillmore
North Bay Progressive Journal
San Francisco Arts Quarterly
San Francisco Bay Guardian
San Francisco Bay View Newspaper
San Francisco Call
San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Examiner
San Francisco Frontlines
Stanford Humanities Review
Thomas Reynolds Gallery
The Trial Lawyer
Matt Gonzalez was born in McAllen, Texas. He is a graduate of Columbia University and Stanford Law School. He is a former president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and served as Ralph Nader’s vice-presidential running mate in 2008 on an Independent ticket (in California, they won the nomination of the socialist Peace & Freedom Party). Gonzalez has worked as the Chief Attorney in the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office since early 2011.
In 2014, Gonzalez began exhibiting his artwork with Dolby Chadwick Gallery in San Francisco. His collage works are in the permanent collection of the Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento; Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts at the Legion of Honor, San Francisco; and, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
Since 2018 his press, FMSBW, has published a series of poetry books by Northern California poets in The Page Poets Series. The imprint’s The Divers Collection publishes memoir, fiction, and poetry in translation.
Feel free to post comments or send us email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Painting of Matt Gonzalez by Kyle Ranson, 2018.
Drawing of Matt Gonzalez by Kyle Ranson, 2018.
Drawing of Matt Gonzalez by Emilio Villalba, 2022.
Layered paper-cut of Matt Gonzalez by Adam Feibelman, 2017.
Thanks for creating this web site for the general public, -keep updating it!
you should seriously considering running for mayor, a house seat, senate, state senate, something big. i would definitely vote for you. remembering last years pres campaigns , i saw democrats and republicans. they were there own shows, but you spoke honestly.
Great idea, guys. Thanks for all the help and inspiration.
thanks for this fantastic inspiration and reason to be!
Mario Alberto Munguia
Dear Mat Gonzalez,
Hello! I am sorry to bother you in the office, but I couldn’t find out any other way but write to this address.
I’ve read a book about your mayoral campaign in San Francisco 2003.: The Political Edge edited by Chris Carlsson and very impressed by the way you organized your campaign in the mayoral election of San Francisco 2003: how you drew out spontaneous civil power deeply rooted subculture and daily life of the people. And I am also very inspired by yourself being a politician and art critique at the same time.
I am a researcher in Japan specialized in aesthetics. But I have been more interested in arts outside the museum and galleries than inside. I agree the idea of “Social Sculpture” by German Artist Josepf Beuys that the society itself is the ultimate material of art. By the way, the idea of social sculpture has already existed in the diary of Van Gogh, although Josepf Beuys is believed to have credit for it.
My main focus is on the dynamic relationship between politics, art and community. Teaching in a local university, I organize a community gallery at home voluntary. The place is not only to present and exhibit works of local artists, but also to organize meetings in which neighbors discuss about local social and environmental issues, the visions how our community should be, and so on. By doing so, I am trying to prove the “public happiness” (in the sense of Hanna Arendt, happiness people feel when they work and express themselves freely not for their own sake, but for the public, trying to make the world better place), true creativity, and deep sense of community have a same root. I want to form a theory and write a book about it.
It seems to me that you have a lot of precious and valuable experience in this area.
I am making a trip to the US. and I will be around Bay Area from March 8- 28. Could I interview you for an hour or so during the days? I would appreciate very much for your time. If it is all right for you, please let me know when and where I could have the talk. It will contribute great deal for my theory and research, if I could interview you.
If you know any other people whom you think I should meet, please let me know. I will greatly appreciate for it. This research is funded by Japan Society for Promotion of Science. The interview will be one of the most important part of the book which I am writing and going to be published in three years.
Makiko Horita (female)
Associate Professor of Research Faculty of Media and Communication, Hokkaido University North 17, West 8, Kita-ku, Sapporo, 060-0817
Tel/Fax +0081 11 706 5390
Will you be making more updates to Jack Hirschman’s bibliography? Happy to see him getting the attention he deserves…
Are you really taking on corruption in San Francisco??? Has lightning struck twice in the same place? I can hardly believe it, its like a savior to those have been beaten by the corruption of SF politics and the connectedness of the players (City Attorney Herrera, Controller Ed Harrington, Gavin, Ed Lee, Willie Brown and their minions) Why didn’t you run again Matt, damn it you were the one. I was glad to see you return to in Public Defenders Office. Man, are you needed. Matt, I have written Jeff Adachi on issues of corruption and whistleblower complaint, as you might imagine, it was completed ignored or rather dismissed becdause it couldn’t be ignored just swept under the carpet of corruption. Please Help!!
Matt, thaks for your web. I have a question concerning picture of Walter Serner, dada writer from Czech republic. The picture I am speaking about was used with article THE LAST LOOSENING MANIFESTO two years ago. I would like to use this picture within our acitivities – is there any larger version of the picture. Thanks a lot. Greeting from Prague. Vaclav
Your collage suggest that you still have Green on your mind. What do you think of Jill Stein? She is working hard on party building and seems to be articulate and committed candidate who is not sleep walking or divisive.Would you consider, if asked, to run on her ticket (unofficial inquiry).
Joe Lacayo, ex-Co-Chair New Mexico Green Party
Sent you an email with some info about Spencer
Also…thx for posting my FYPM dog painting. Dorka informed me. Tried following but got no response
I have been thinking about you lately and so haven’t seen any new posts on Facebook.
I can’t find you and wondered if you are off Facebook altogether?
Hi Wynne, I deactivated my Facebook account until after the presidential election. I’m doing good and anything I write will get posted on this site. Good to hear from you, Matt
There was a segment on jack farley and the firehaus group and I am inquiring about a oil painting signed by jack farley. It is 24×18 on canvas. The setting is a windmill near a inlet. Almost dutch setting like. I would like to send you a picture of it.
Yes, please, send it over.
I’ve been fascinated by the Beat writers and their work since 1964 when I found Ferlinghetti’s Pictures of the Gone World at a used bookstore on the Ohio State University Campus. It started my lifelong interest in the Beats and their contemporaries. I just read the article you wrote which is posted on The Beat Museum site about Jack Hirschman and his life and writings. I met Jack at the Caffe Trieste a few years ago and asked if I could interview him for a writing conference I was taking at Book Passage. I have since read many of his books and am fascinated by his legendary life.,
Your article on The Beat Museum’s site was fascinating. I also went to your Reader and read the article you wrote on Ginsburg’s reading at the Gallery Six and learned some things I didn’t know about that first reading!
You are a wonderful writer, and I’d like to read more. Is there a publication of your writing about the Beat Generation of writers?
Thank you for the kind words Cheryl. I wasn’t aware the Beat Museum had posted something from here (I’m delighted they did). All my modest writing is located on this site. Re Beat writers, I have only written about Micheline, Hirschman, and Ginsberg. And about some artist from that era, the Firehaus painters who worked in Stockton in the late 50s and early 60s. Thanks for stopping by!
Thanks for responding. I copied your article in my handwriting so I can refer to it when I read his work. I loved meeting him for a short interview in Caffe Trieste a few years ago. It was a lovely experience. I’ll love reading your other posts.
I really like your paper cut outs. I see them at Nordstroms Department store in Austin texas. I would like to talk art with you if you have time.
This is the man who put Kate Steinle’s killer (García Zárate) back on the streets to commit more murders. A man who is convicted of trafficking’s Heroine, a man who stole a gun from a police car. Matt Gonzalez is scum!!!
Pat, I’ve written several articles that you can find on this site related to the Garcia Zarate case. I think if you read them with an open mind you’ll see that Garcia Zarate neither stole a gun from a police car, nor did he intentionally fire the gun he found. I do believe what happened was an awful tragedy, but it was not the result of any desire to cause harm to someone.
I’d love to know why you wrote a piece for The Guardian about Jonestown immediately after leaving the political spotlight? In light of what’s happening in Ukraine and the Azov Battalion’s ideological connection with Kozak identity (and all of it’s problematic modern interpretations), and the popularity among the Bay Area political class for this war, I’m curious what your thoughts are regarding their motivations for such hearty support? Why has the local Bay Area left been so drawn into supporting a movement in Ukraine associated with modern perversions of Kozak identity?
Kozak tribal carpets have been extremely popular among Bay Area elites. They love them. Why?
I’ll never forget when Jim at the office glowingly (with an odd sparkle in his eyes) referred to you as “our gladiator.”