Artist: Joshua Vasquez
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery West
About the Artist
I had the honor of being able to get to know Joshua Vasquez this week at the art gallery. Joshua is from downtown Los Angeles and is currently in the BFA Painting and Drawing Program here at Long Beach State. He’s been doing art basically his entire life but didn’t start taking it seriously until about two years ago. Joshua is an undergraduate but plans to graduate in Spring 2017. When asking him what his interests were, Joshua was really adamant about how passionate he was about painting. He said if he wasn’t able to paint, he wouldn’t want to do anything at all. In general, Joshua’s work mostly explores the ideas of life and death and how different they are from each other.
When I first saw Joshua’s work I was very interested and taken in by them. All of them are very unique on their own but there was definitely that aspect of cohesion. As a whole, the artwork was mostly all black and white with many sinuous lines throughout. All the drawings in the exhibit are made with ink markers on clear plastic trash bags, paper mounted on wood panels, red rosin paper, and various types of discarded flowers. Joshua’s pieces were very bold and appealing to the eye.
All the pieces in Joshua’s gallery related back to the idea of life and death. When talking to him, he said he was interested in the differences between the two. He also hopes to find a deeper meaning behind this like exploring the ideas of femininity/masculinity, black/white, and even hard/soft. Along with the visual of the artwork, he created each piece so they will all have their own lifespan. Joshua did this in order to capture the aspect of life as well.
Overall, I was very interested in Joshua’s exhibit. I was able to connect to the paintings he put out because I’m always thinking about both aspects of life and death. My favorite part about the entire gallery was how he put a lifespan on every painting that he did. For me, it made his artwork speak a lot louder because his pieces won’t last a lifetime. I was fortunate enough to see them when they looked their absolute best and before they start to age and break apart. I also enjoyed how he only used primarily black and white throughout because it connected all the pieces together. For me personally, black and white speaks louder than color ever will. However, the only way I was able to connect to Josh’s pieces in my own life was I love to take pictures and his artwork looks absolutely incredible on camera! Definitely a beautiful exhibit and I can’t wait to see what other work Joshua does in the future!