Artist: Joshua Vasquez
Media: Spray Paint, Reusable trash bags, Sharpie, Roses
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery West
About the Artist:
The artist name is Joshua Vasquez and he is an undergraduate student, fifth year, at CSULB. In a year from now he is planning on graduating from the BFA Painting and Drawing. He loves to paint and he doesn’t see himself doing anything else. He has drawn and been interested in art since he can remember but he just started taking it seriously these past years. His parents are Salvadorian but he was born and grew up in in LA. For this gallery his pieces showed the contrast between life and death.
The two main forms of artwork that he used would be the reusable plastic bags and the reused roses. The reusable plastic bags he would use them as canvas so he could draw on them with sharpie. For the flower he would also use those and make them into an art piece. He described this as getting stuff that people would discard and giving these pieces a new life, a new purpose. His pieces of art had different scales and there was one in particular that took up the whole wall. He said that it was one of his favorites because it had been the biggest piece he had worked on. For his paintings on the wall that used plastic bags, I really enjoyed how streaky they were and that made them have an edge. It was really cool to see how these lines all fit together to make a picture. For the piece of art that had flowers it was really cool to see how he gave them a new purpose. Even though the roses were dried and dead he made them look beautiful again. For his gallery there was a lot of white, black and grey colors that were used but on some art pieces he would use these bursts of colors that would really bring out the whole art piece.
Overall he seemed really interested with the idea of life and death. He used materials that had a life span. He used materials that people threw away because they weren’t useful anymore and he gave them a purpose again. He stated that he chose this theme because of the tension that people feel when they think about life and death. I believe that he made this gallery to see the beauty of life and death and not feel as much tension. When he talked about his art piece “Los Ojos” he was talking about the roses and he said “even though the roses are dead they have some life to them because of the color” because of this I think that the colors were a big deal for these art pieces. I think that the color signifies life and how even through so much death, there is still life, there is still a purpose.
I think that death is a scary topic that I honestly do not like to think about because it is scary and a big deal but I really enjoyed this gallery. At first I got this feeling of darkness and seeing the art it really did seem like he was just talking about death but as he explained it and as I looked at it more it became noticeable that he had as much life in there as death. That his main point was life. It was him giving life to these objects that for other people were no longer useful, but he gave them life, he gave them a purpose again. The bright colors that he used also represented life. How these bright colors brought out life from these objects. This gallery made life and death a more beautiful concept instead of the fear felt when talking about these subjects.