Artist: Josh Vasquez
Media: Plastic, Paint Marker, Spray Paint
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery West
For this week’s artist conversation, we got to meet with artist Josh Vasquez. Vasquez is an undergraduate student who is currently going to California University of Long Beach. Growing up in downtown Los Angeles, Vasquez has always had an interest in art. When asked what his interests are, he simply answered that he loves to paint. Vasquez is in the Bachelor of Fine Arts program from the CSULB School of Art with an option in draw and paint and is expected to graduate the following spring semester. With his work, as shown in his exhibit “Vida/Morte,” Vasquez tries to portray his view of “life and death” by bringing together opposite ideas to make art.
Josh Vasquez’s art work is not your typical brightly colored art. In fact, most of his art work only involves two colors: black and white. Most of the tools he uses only consist of a plastic trash bag, sharpies, and spray paint. With these tools, however, he creates amazing art including images with jagged lines all over the canvas. One example of this would be his art piece of a cow skull. In this piece of art, Vasquez has drawn a huge drawing of a cow skull with a black sharpie and all around it and on the skull are jagged lines with white spray paint.
Vasquez uses his specific color scheme and materials to portray his theme of life and death. As in the art piece mentioned earlier, he drew a large cow skull with a black sharpie and then spray painted white jagged lines all over the art piece. The reason the skull is drawn in black is to represent the “death” part of his theme. Then the white jagged lines are used to represent the “life” part of his theme because the lines help bring his art piece to life. By using plastic with sharpie and spray paint, materials that are not usually seen with most art, Vasquez is able to use them to create art and show how rare techniques can create amazing art work.
After viewing Vasquez’s art work, to me they mean that opposites can work together to make something great. These include his use of only black and white colors, using plastic with spray paint, and him portraying life and death through his art. All of these things are complete opposites of each other, yet Vasquez finds a way to put them together and make amazing works of art. By doing this, Vasquez also separates himself from other artists and makes him stand out in a way. I can respect that because I personally believe that everyone should try to stand out and not just strive to be average. If you really want to be the best at something and stand out, you have to do things that most people would not see as normal and Josh Vasquez’s technique to his art is an example of that.