Josh Vasquez- Artist Conversation Week 3

Artist: Josh Vasquez

Exhibition: Vida/Morte

Media: Paint Marker, Spray Paint on Stretched Plastic, Acrylic on Red Rosin Paper, Discarded Flowers, Plastic Trash Bags, Wood Panels, Ink Marker

Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery West

Instagram: @joshybehr

About the Artist 

Josh Vasquez is an Undergraduate going into his 5th year at CSULB working on his BFA in Drawing and Painting, and expecting to graduate in Spring of 2017. Vasquez comes off as a very passionate painter with a voice that really only comes from is painting. “I paint”, Vasquez says, when another classmate asked what is interest were it is clear that he lets his master pieces speak for himself. Vaquez art pieces explore the life and death, Vida meaning life and Morte meaning death. In the title alone it is very interesting the reason for exploring Vasquez’s ideas deeper.

Formal Analysis

When first walking into the gallery the first thing that the first noticeable piece is the long paper full of dead flowers. This piece was pretty long and noticeable because of what is was.  When looking around all of the it was dark. Many people of dark as something depressing or something that must resemble something bad but in Vaquez’s cause his art actually was brought to life with the lighting setup in the room. The texture of the pieces looked more so smooth in regards to the drawings on the plastic trash bags and the scaling of most were standard and there were also some pieces where the scale was a bit larger. Most were simple shapes such as the rectangle of the canvas/frame but the media were different and creative. Using a trash bags and sharpies is something that is uncommon materials in my experience of understanding in medias but is a great way of being an artist on a budget.

Content Analysis

Vasquez explains his concept in this artist statement as the ideas of life and death as opposites in a simple idea that can be drawn out. He used the drawings of skulls and discarded flowers as symbols that can possibly represent more than just the thoughts of life and death. He hoped to explore a more complex meaning with the symbols of black and white and other elements in his drawings. Something that stuck out to me in his statement is that he sees the objects and materials he uses as something in with a “life span” because each material as an end. The ink in the pen may run out way faster than the paper will actually survive and the flowers will die faster than the paper beneath them does. This concept makes you think about everything as a living life form which many people use things and take things for granted but this made me think as if everything has a meaningful purpose that should be cherished.

My Experience

Josh Vasquez work is really a work of art because of the concept, the time and effort, and the overall beauty of it. It was great to see a concept done with basic household items and the creativity that went into the ideas are amazing. The overall exhibition was a great experience because it helped open my mind up to new creative ideas that I could use in this ART110 class or in my works of photography. It was inspirational. Some of the ideas were out of the box and that is what the art community is all about in my opinion is thinking outside the box, being creative, and adding your voice into the world/society’s perception. It helped me reflect on the effort that I am putting into my craft. I overheard Josh speaking to a classmate about it taking him 6 months to prepare for the exhibition. Throughout this time I know that he took deep thought into preparation and in my case of academics and career goals I should do the same. This begin the first art gallery walk I enjoyed it and love how it has already opened my mind to new things and can’t wait to continue!


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