Artist: Josh Vasquez
Media: Sharpie Markers, Spray Paint
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery West
About the Artist
Josh Vasquez is an undergraduate student in the BFA Painting and Drawing program. He has been creating art since he was a child, and finds it to be a meditative process. His art is inspired by various contradictory themes and ideas. He aims to explore and convey these themes in his work by creating unified pieces that integrate contradicting elements.
Nearly every piece in the exhibit features markers and spray paint as primary mediums, and colors that are monochromatic. Additional materials used in the pieces include plastic trash bags, wood, paper, and flowers. In accordance with Vasquez’s concept of creating art that conveys the stark contrast between various themes such as life and death, his pieces feature contradictory elements. Examples of these elements include both soft and sharp lines, white and black colors, and curvy and jagged edges. These contrasting elements emphasis the symbolism and concept behind his pieces.
Josh Vasquez’s Vida/Morte exhibition explores contrasting themes such life and death, black and white, and femininity and masculinity. The artist was inspired to create pieces that convey contrasting elements as they are, coming together to create unified pieces. As suggested by the exhibition’s title, the themes of life and death were especially influential to Vasquez’s work. Utilizing and integrating elements such as skulls and flowers, black and white, and sharp and soft lines, he aimed to use materials that drew connection to this theme of integrated opposites.
I feel that Josh Vasquez was very successful in conveying the themes that inspired his artwork. I could really see his vision and the theme of life and death reflected in his pieces. I think the use of contradicting elements to bring this vision to life was a very smart, creative, and effective technique. In my experience as a viewer, I felt the pieces evoke a bit of sadness in me. Reflecting on the theme of life and death by seeing the integration of contradictory elements that symbolize each phenomenon made me think about how life starts and ends for everyone. However, I loved looking at the pieces and think they are beautiful. I greatly appreciate the pieces and the artist’s talent.