Artist: Josh Vasquez
Gallery: Gatov Gallery West, CSULB
This week in Art110 we went and looked at the CSULB galleries for the first time. The artist I decided to interview was Josh Vasquez. Josh is a undergraduate student at Cal State Long Beach. He originates from Los Angeles and has been interested in art his entire life. He recently got serious about his art 2 years ago. This exhibition that he put on at the CSULB galleries is done in the media of paint and is a commentary on life and death. Through each of his pieces you can see that he focuses a lot on drawing skulls and flowers, both representing two different parts of the spectrum on life and death. When asked what his favorite piece of his collection was he said the human skull (pictured above^).
When analyzing Josh’s art you can see that he uses the colors white and black a lot through each of his art pieces. Also his art pieces seem to have a very organic flow to them. A lot of circular shapes are used time and again. The background pieces he uses to perform his art on are usually white in color and then he adds the color black onto them. Some of his pieces feel organic but give off a staccato feeling because of the color contrast between the black and the white.
The idea of life and death that Josh is trying to portray through his artwork definitely comes through. If you mediate on his depictions of the flowers and skulls in his artwork it bring your mind to contemplating life and death. The skull art piece in particular gives me an eerie feeling of death. The skull seems to be surrounded by an upside down tulip flower, as if death is being encapsulated by life just wanting to burst out.
Overall my experience when viewing these art pieces was one of intrigue. It did really get me to think about what the meaning is behind life and death. Although, after viewing one piece for awhile I felt unsettled because the paintings were done in a very bleak way (black and white). In my opinion, Josh’s usage of the colors black and white made it so the viewer’s thoughts on life and death were more negative than positive. But maybe that was the artist’s intent. I enjoyed viewing Josh’s artwork and hope to see more of his work in the future. 🙂