Media: Organic roses, marker, white/black contrast, red rosin paper, trash bags
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Max L. Gatov Gallery West
About the Artist
Joshua Vasquez is a graduate student at California State University Long Beach and is getting his BFAA in the School of Arts. He is an undergraduate. The show was not related to his degree. He was born in the city of Los Angeles itself. What seems to be evident in his art and art gallery title is he uses his a Hispanic heritage a lot. Therefore, has a deep connection with it.
Honestly in most of his work, you see multiple marker strokes are used to create a line. It creates almost a raw feeling. The color black is common in all of his works, even the crushed roses were on top of a black plane. Actually, in his Vida art show all of his pieces had very organic aspects. The dark tones in most of them gave a earth like feel. In his Skull drawing, the use of only a black marker is very smooth like most of his plant splattering. The splatter and drawings do not seem forced. More specifically they look in naturally occurring like something you could find in common nature. Some of his artwork, such as the skull, contained curvy lines that would meet at peak points and create a sharp angle. Which is an interesting art style to use. The use of roses was unique as I have not seen an art piece where the actual art is decaying.
His work is about contrast between life and death. This relates the title of his gallery. He also chooses to match a lot of his work with greater painters such as Van Gogh. He talks about how his pieces represent life, they all die eventually. Which can help provide a theme for the use of roses. In this show he wanted to show the overall aspects of life. The overall idea seemed to be the life cycle.
Synthesis / My Experience
A lot of the artwork seemed to act as a mirror for me. I had a lot of self-reflection pertaining to how life starts and ends. I personally felt that his work showed about how life dies constantly. This type of idea revived a feeling that I should live everyday very sacredly. The cycle of life is a taboo conversation in our society. We rarely consider death, because we cannot comprehend it. I wish we could at least discuss it and not disregard it. Other cultures dive into the topic. For example, Mexican culture embraces death as not a grim event, but one of celebration and recognition of ones’ life. I would hope our society and culture dive into one more aligned with the Hispanic cultures. Because, the one we have is saddening and grim most of the time.