Artist: Josh Vasquez
Media: Drawing, Spray Painting, Colorless Painting
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery West
Josh Vasquez is an undergraduate in the Drawing and Painting Program of the CSULB School of Art. Josh is from LA and he is very interested in contrasts especially those that are found in life and in death. His ideas explore the differences in each concept and by as he points out the differences, he is also able to present the similarities.
Josh Vasquez’s work is full of contrasting and contradicting qualities. One of those qualities is how he does them in black and white. He uses materials like plastic trash bags, ink markers, flowers, red rosin paper, skulls, and wood since all these things are somewhat representative of life or death and some represent both. His work shows a smooth texture, symmetrical shape and scale, jagged rhythm and has only black and white with a mix of transparent materials.
This exhibition is called Vida/Morte where Vida means life and Morte means death. Josh is trying to show the contrast between life and death while at the same time, convey a different meaning with his work. He uses his work to symbolize certain things like the flowers are used to symbolize a lifespan since they can’t last forever and the skulls are used to forecast an end. Vasquez wanted to show how his work can also represent masculinity and femininity, and even soft and hard. He shows that opposites can coincide and mix to create a deeper meaning in his art.
To me, Vasquez’s work is a little morbid. He tries to express the ideas of life and death, but from his exhibit, death is what mostly resonates. My idea of life involves color, vibrancy, and good vibes, but with Josh’s work, the only life I get out of it is the flowers and even then, I still don’t get much of the life aspect out of them since they were sort of wilting. I think that Josh was trying to show how nothing can last forever and I can relate to that. I just think he should have made the life aspect of this exhibition pop more so a better contrast could be seen. Overall it was an interesting exhibition and Josh Vasquez did a really good job with putting his ideas on a canvas. His work makes you think and is very much up to interpretation.