Artist: Joshua Vasquez
Media: ink markers, clear plastic trash bags, paper mounted on wood panels, & red rosin paper
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery West
About the Artist: Joshua Vasquez is an undergraduate student in the BFA Painting and Drawing Program at the CSULB School of Art and plans to graduate next spring. Joshua is from Los Angeles and has been painting since he was a child. Joshua has no other interests outside of art. He likes the ideas of life and death and interprets them in his pieces. This gallery took him about half a year to complete.
Formal Analysis: His artwork varied from dark brown paper with black paint splatters on it and dried flowers to translucent paintings. Each artwork represented life and death. I noticed most of his artwork represented death.The translucent paintings were black white, and grey. The texture appeared to be smooth. The only bright colors in his artwork were the dried, dead flowers laying on the floor in the center of the room. The texture of the flowers however seemed to be more rough. The skull paintings on the translucent canvases were sinuous. The lines in the paintings were jagged and undulating.
Content Analysis: Vida/Morte, the title of his exhibition, meaning life/death are both simple ideas that make his drawings possible. Joshua uses flowers to express life and skulls to represent death. Joshua hoped to explore a deeper meaning than just life and death in his artwork such as femininity and masculinity, black and white, and hard and soft. He was inspired by the master painters of the past such as Vincent Van Gogh, Frida Khalo, Paul Cézanne, and Georgia O’Keefe. Joshua says he has interpreted their artwork, abstracted them and broken them down in order to make an image. Joshua chose to think of these pieces as having a life span. Each of the materials having its own end. 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. Both pieces have their own lives within time.
Synthesis: I really enjoyed the Vida/Morte art gallery by Joshua Vasquez. The layout and feel while in the gallery was fascinating. I found it interesting that he put deeper meaning into his materials such as representing them as a lifespan. All of his artwork had clear meaning to me, but after talking to him I realized that the artwork hd more significance and deeper meaning than I first thought. When first walking into the exhibit the dried flowers on the floor caught my attention. I dry out my old flowers as a keepsake, and found it interesting he incorporated dried flowers into his art. His dried flowers represent life and my dried flowers I have represent memories.