Artist: Josh Vasquez
Exhibition: Vida/ Morte
Media: ink markers, plastic trash bags, discarded flowers, mixed-media, installation
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Max L. Gatov Gallery West
About the Artist:
Josh Vasquez is a first generation Salvadorian American who lives in downtown Los Angeles. He is an undergraduate student in the CSULB School of Art’s Painting and Drawing Program. His parents are very proud and supportive of their son being an artist. Vasquez considers himself a “starving artist” because most of his money goes into creating his master pieces. Other than creating art work, Vasquez’s interests also include photography, sleeping and eating foods such as hamburgers and the traditional Salvadorian dish, pupusas. Vasquez’s work does not have a specific objective, but he decided to focus on life and death simply because they are two really different subjects.
The artwork I decided to observe is a canvas created with reusable plastic bags and markers. The artwork depicts a human skull inside a flower. The color scheme is very simple because there is only black and white. The lines are very smooth which gives it a nice peaceful tone to the whole piece. The shading on the artwork varies from light to much darker in certain regions. At first glance a viewer might not see something on the canvas but after observing it very well, you can clearly see the skull in the flower.
This piece of art represents the theme of life and death. This is represented through the image of the skull and the flower and through the use of the colors black and white. Vasquez also utilized discarded flowers of different colors which definitely gives a new life to them. He stated that the purpose of utilizing the flowers was to give life to the unwanted things in his artwork. He seems to be the kind of artist who likes taking challenges and creating his own view on a certain topic that has been done before by other artist.
I really enjoyed Josh Vasquez’s art gallery about life and death. He managed to incorporate a new style to what I consider to be a very traditional theme. I like the fact that he did not just focus on humans but also on animals. He created a canvas with an animal skull similar to the one with the human skull inside a flower. His incorporation of the discarded flowers was genius because the flowers were very colorful which represents life. And the fact that they are wilting represents death.