Wk 3-Artist Conversation-Joshua Vasquez

Info Block

Artist:Joshua Vasquez

Exhibition:Vida/Morte

Media:ink markers, plastic trash bags, paper mounted on wood panels, and red rosin paper

Gallery:CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery West

Website:joshvasquez.com

Instagram:joshybehr

About the Artist

Josh is a BFA painting and drawing major, and this was his non-degree solo show. He is from downtown LA, and has been doing art his whole life. He always loved art, but never took it too seriously until about two years ago. Josh is an undergraduate student, and plans to graduate next spring. When we asked him his other interest or hobbies outside of art, he said he has none. Without a paint brush, he told us there is nothing else he would want to do. His whole exhibit, and most of his art, explores the ideas of life and death, and the differences between these two ideas.

Formal Analysis

Every piece in this show is made up of mostly skulls and flowers to represent his two opposite ideas of life and death. The media he used was very interesting, and different than anything I have ever seen anyone use as an artist. Josh used marker on clear plastic trash bags, paper mounted on wood panels, and red rosin paper. Almost every piece was in black and white, and had a three dimensional feel to them. The skull, which was my favorite piece, was made entirely of straight lines drawn at different angles, and some shading.

Content Analysis

The ideas that the artist was trying to explore was life and death, as presented in the title of this exhibit, which was also interestingly in spanish. He wanted to note how these ideas were simple yet polar opposites of each other. Josh was inspired by the master painters of the past such as Vincent Van Gogh and Frida Khalo. He interpreted their work, abstracted and broke them down to create the pieces presented in the gallery. The media he used also went hand in hand with the theme. He said the art work had a life span. “The ink and paint will not survive as long as the plastic it is drawn on. And the flowers will not last as long as the paper beneath them.” Each of the materials used has its own end.

 

Synthesis

Overall, I thought this was a great exhibit. The artist had such deep thought behind each and every one of his pieces. I loved that he thought of the materials having a lifespan, just as we too, have a lifespan. We don’t live forever; we live, we die, and depending on our thoughts on the afterlife, we either cease to exist, or we go to heaven. This idea specifically struck a chord with me because of my religion, Christianity. After death, Christians believe in a better life in Heaven. This got me thinking about how much we value our life on earth; our accomplishments, our money, our success, but what is it really worth if I believe that there is something better to come? After writing this analysis, I realize that I worry too much. If I am a good person, and I try my hardest to do what is right, then that should be good enough. Worry not about wordly things because we have an expiration date, and nothing is gonna change that.

 

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