Artist: Joshua Vasquez
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery West
About the Artist
Joshua Vasquez is an undergraduate who attends Cal State Long Beach and will be graduating in spring and is currently in the BFA Painting and Drawing Program. Joshua is from Down Town LA and started getting really serious about his artwork about two years ago and ever since he’s had a passion for painting. His interest is of course is painting and always has been painting, when asked about what else would he enjoy doing instead of painting he said nothing because paining is his life and he can’t see himself doing anything different. His painting theme consist of life and death and how completely different they are from each other.
While looking at Josh Vasquez’s artwork I was fascinated by the creativity he used with his art, for example he used layers of trash bags to show wrinkled lined and sharp edges, but he put over a clear plastic to draw over because he wanted to show us the other painting inside if his artwork which was the first I have ever seen. The first thing I noticed while walking into the art exhibit was how I only seen black and white in most or all his work, and that’s because he had a meaning and theme which was life and death. In one of his artwork that I enjoyed looking at was the one with different lines and shapes. In his artwork he used many different lines; thin, thick, short, tall, horizontal, vertical and more. Some areas are shaded darker than others and there were other circular lines as well. The flowers on the floor also caught my eye; he had dozens of flowers on top of another art work of his that went from one side of the room to the other. The bed of flowers looked dead and alive, some had more color and life than others and some looked darker than others.
One thing I know from talking to Josh is that he is trying to explore the meaning of life and death through his artwork. He represents the beauty in life, but also in death, he sees the true meaning in both and it shows through his work. The flowers were a great example because it’s a symbol for life and death, but both meaning hope and love. Some flowers were more colorful and alive and some looked wrinkled, dried out and dead so he put the two together to show the beauty in both. He still questions the meaning and life and death and would love to explore more about the two, but he uses femininity and masculinity to show us the difference and uses different lines and shapes to portray life and death as well. Some artist that inspired Josh was Paul Cezanne, Frida Kahlo, and Vincent Van Gogh. He used their artwork to help guide him in his work.
Synthesis/ My Experience
Looking at Josh’s art work it made me question my views on life and death and how the two are much more alike than we think. It connected to me by the black and white colors he used, I honestly love black and white more than any other colors because I feel like it has more of an emotional feel to it and it speaks to me a lot more. It also amazed me that he put a lifespan on every painting, so eventually it will start to look like death and I am glad I was able to see his live work, this was another way Josh showed us life and death.