Wk 3 – Artist Conversation – Josh Vasquez

Artist: Josh Vasquez
Exhibition: Vida / Morte
Media: Paint
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery West
Website: http://www.joshvasquez.com/
Instagram: @JoshybehrJosh Vasquez showcases his work in a non degree solo show. Vasquez is currently an undergraduate student attending California State University, Long Beach. Originating from Los Angles, he has been creating pieces of work since he was a child; yet was not passionate about his talent until recently. Aside from art, his interests don’t amount to his passion for creating beautiful pieces of works. Expected to graduate the following spring semester, his works showcased here expresses his interpretation of life and death.
For the most part, the majority of Vasquez’s work comprises of a coexistence of black and white. Some major components utilize for his pieces are glass, charcoal, spray paint, and common items (ranging from trash bags to flowers). The way he makes his works is by no mean symmetrical as his jagged strokes are noticeable around the canvas. One of the most intriguing aspects of his works is the absence of vivid color. The vast majority of his art pieces is a co-existence of two shades. That being said, his ground work, “La Flor Muerta” definitely stands out from the others considering its inclusion of discarded red flowers makes it unique from his other pieces.  The visuals seem quite rough since the way he creates his pieces uses rough strokes and a lack of organized symmetry.
The pieces are meant to show the coexisting elements of “life” and “death” as Vasquez utilizes two shades to emphasize his point. He claims that working of his pieces definitely requires a meditative state of mind as concentration is key for his style. In order to bring out the jagged strokes and asymmetrical components of his style, Vasquez brings forth frustration in his works. As Vasquez showcases “life” and “death” in a coexisting world, he uses two different techniques in one piece as a reflection of that idea. For example, whether it is glass vs. canvas or charcoal vs. spray paint, these opposing techniques manages to “coexist” with one another: just how “black” and “white” are able to do so.
Vasquez’s work allows me to see both the bleak and bright aspects of everyday life- as many of his works show a coexisting pattern of these two opposing forces. I’m able to sense frustration and free range in his works. His rugged and asymmetrical style shows the expressive side of the human mind. For example, his work “Girasoles” allows me to see the combination of life and death as both coexist in one canvas. Because both shades of light don’t mix into the piece, the presence yet separation of both shades suggest that life itself has two means: light and dark.

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