Artist: Josh Vasquez
Media: Drawing, Spray Paint,Trash Bags, Dead Flowers, Paper
Gallery: Max L. Gatov Gallery West
About the Artist
Josh Vasquez is a 5th year undergraduate student at CSULB and he is in the drawing/painting program trying to earn his BFA by spring 2017. He has had an interest in the arts since he was young and he said that he couldn’t imagine himself doing anything else. Aside from the work that he displayed in the gallery, he said that he enjoys doing photography as well. He considers himself a starving artist because all of his money goes to buying art materials. The ideas that he likes to explore through his art are mostly about life and death. The translation of his exhibition literally translates to “life/death”.
The piece of art on the left above consisted of dead flowers that Josh collected layered on top of of paper. There were stains in the paper from the dead flowers being laid on top of it. The flowers seemed to become more lively as you looked from one side to the other (or depending on your perspective, more deathly brown). There were a variety of different flowers giving a sense of diversity throughout the whole piece. The flowers were lined all in a similar way with their stems pointed in one direction and the parts with the petals pointed in the other direction. The piece of art was fairly large in size and was the second largest display in the gallery next to his other piece, Los Ojos Dos which spanned an entire wall of the gallery.
I asked Josh why he chose to use flowers in one of his pieces and he said that he wanted to give the flowers a sense of purpose again. All of the flowers were once beautiful and alive, but once they died, they are thrown away. He picked up these dead flowers and put them together to show off their beauty again. The transition of more colorful flowers to more sickly, brown flowers gives a sense of this “life and death” theme that he likes to use. As mentioned before, Josh has an interest in exploring the ideas of life and death, but he also wishes to explore other ideas through his art such as femininity, masculinity, light, and darkness (to name a few).
I enjoyed visiting Josh’s exhibit. I found it interesting that his work involving flowers has its own lifespan. Sure, we can see it and appreciate it today, but in a few weeks those flowers will all be deteriorated. I enjoyed seeing his other work as well because I’ve experienced drawing and painting with skulls as well. I found beauty in the hollow bones that were once someone’s face and identity.