Alfred “Alex” Gockel’s brilliant use of color and the graceful motion of his figures characterize his compositions. These images are a perfect reflection of his appearance and inner-self. Possessed of an amazing degree of energy, he has been able to complete a large number of different projects in his 22 year long career, and in striving for perfection has attained the highest quality for each project. Gockel’s desire to achieve and excel artistically has also made him a world traveler and cultural connoisseur, and society is still a source of inspiration for him. While the artist unflaggingly seeks to improve his art, the number of Gockel fans around the world continues to increase.
Like a gifted musician, Alfred Gockel approaches his canvas.
Just as in Jazz, when he begins there is an underlying skeletal structure for the composition, but it must be fleshed-out through instinct, sensitivity, experience and the ability to always be attuned to the “moment.” Musicians create the form of music through pitch, harmony, melody, rhythm, repetition, tone and dexterity with their instrument, honed by countless hours of practice and performance. The visual artist’s formal tools are equivalent: line, color, composition, spatial and proportional relationships, texture and surface and a mastery of draftsmanship gained only through the practiced repetition of capturing in two dimensions what eye perceives in three.
For centuries, philosophers, historians, critics and artists and musicians themselves have pondered the relationship between the aural (musical) and the visual arts. Alfred Gockel just lives it.
When he paints, as seen in the Park West Gallery “stop-action” video of Gockel creating a panting, he seems to effortlessly apply his lines and forms, painting ambidextrously (a skill considered essential to jazz drummers). But this belies the intense state of concentration that holds his attention. Gockel appears to instinctively select his colors, render and adjust his shapes and forms and freely move between his large brushes (for tonal areas) and his smaller ones (for detail). But, a closer look will reveal that his actions are a synthesis of instinct and determination, just like in Jazz: a delicate balance of intention and discovery.
Gockel has created his “performance paintings” all over the world and for years, essentially in his way, he has produced lasting “recordings” of his visual “music.” For Park West auctions at Sea, he has created paintings before huge audiences at cruise ship art auctions, and at cruise ship gallery events. But his reach is not limited to art auctions at sea. He has exhibited and painted live from New York to Los Angeles, throughout Europe and in the Far East. Gockel is a restless soul, and his intention is to expose the entire world to his art and he pursues this goal tirelessly.
I have known Alfed (Alex to his friends) for many years. In fact when we are together (we are the same age) at Park West Gallery events we often receive comments about how similar we look (he’s a much better dresser) and we’ve shared many laughs about being “separated at birth.” But together during auctions at sea as well as Park West Gallery events in locations on dry land, we have traversed the globe together and our time shared has always been special for me.
Steeped deeply in the history of art, Alfred is adept at myriad fine art disciplines beyond painting, including etching, serigraphy, lithography, sculpture and jewelry design. When we are together (whether it’s in Russia, Berlin, or Las Vegas), we jockey back and forth, bantering like two old Jazz musicians reminiscing about their mentors and inspirations. Except in our case, rather than names like Coltrane, Miles, Charlie Parker or Louis Armstrong, our conversations are peppered with the names, Picasso, Miro, Kandinsky and Dali…all clear influences in his work.
In 2009 Gockel painted two of the last remaining unpainted panels of the Berlin Wall, commemorating the 20th anniversary of the reunification of Germany. Gockel was invited to showcase these compelling and history making artworks at the German Embassy in Athens, Greece as part of the reunification anniversary celebrations. In 2006, Alfred was honored by being chosen as an official artist of the U.S. Olympic Committee for the Winter Olympics held in Turin, Italy. Millions of people were exposed to his art through that event.
Over his career as the accolades have piled on and the celebrities, corporations and enthusiastic collectors have lined up to collect his artwork, Gockle has remained true to his original calling, humble and approachable. He possesses the stature of a “Rock Star” in his native Germany (another musical allusion), but neither this, nor his success has gone to his head. Instead he remains devoted to filling the world with art that is energetic, colorful, joyful and expressive of a lifetime of creativity in flow.
In 1910, the Russian abstract master, Wassily Kandinsky, one of Gockel’s artistic heroes wrote in his seminal treatise, Concerning the Spiritual in Art, the following:
If Kandinsky’s words ring true, then the art of Alfred Gockel is playing a fine tune, and the world is tapping its foot and whistling along.
For more than 42 years, Park West Gallery has been one of the nation's premier art dealers due not only to their land-based art events, but also from more than twenty years of art programs on cruise ships all over the world. These programs have allowed access to our extensive collection to collectors in over 60 countries. This availability attracts brand new collectors as well as veterans of the art world, and the broad variety of the collection ensures that there is something for everyone's taste, experience, and budget.
Park West Gallery has continued the tradition of art dealing and publishing that helped some of the greatest artists in history gain international exposure and recognition. Two of the greatest art dealers in history, Ambrose Vollard and Louis Broder, furthered the careers of artists like Picasso, Miro, Chagall, and Renoir, enabling more people around the world to see and appreciate their historic work. Park West Galleries follow in those groundbreaking footsteps by not only developing and encouraging contemporary artists, but also by working with the estates of master artists and giving people the opportunity to experience, learn about, and collect historic masterworks. Many people don't have time to travel to all of the great meccas of the art world, and Park West Gallery takes world-class artwork and brings it directly to the people.
By providing this access, Park West Gallery creates an environment unlike anything else in the world. For centuries, fine art was reserved for only the most elite levels of society, decorating the walls of castles and cathedrals. As time progressed into the modern world, art awareness spread around the globe. Park West Gallery attempts to further that connection between art and the world at large, knowing the enrichment and value that art can add to life. Every single week, the cruise ship programs and the land-based events allow thousands of new people from all over the world to connect with fine art on new and exciting levels. Through enrichment seminars, exciting live art auctions, masterwork unveilings and private exhibitions, Park West Galleries give people an opportunity to enrich their lives and open expand their cultural appreciation in countless ways.
The Park West Gallery collection offers a vast range of collecting opportunities including oil and acrylic paintings, serigraphs, lithographs, etchings, sculptures, hand-signed sports memorabilia, and rare production cells. Park West Gallery occupies a 63,000 square foot gallery and headquarters facility in Southfield, Michigan, and a 181,000 square foot distribution center and gallery in Miami Lakes, Florida. After more than four decades of service to the artistic community, Park West Gallery's mission has remained the same, to create an inviting, exciting, and educational environment that inspires a passion for the arts and creates a collecting opportunity like no other company in the world.