Artist: Joshua Vasquez
Media: Clear Plastic Trash Bags, Red Rosin Paper, Ink Markers, Various Discarded Flowers
Gallery: CSLUB School of Art, Gatov Gallery West
Instagram: @Joshybehr #VidaMorteArt
In a solo exhibit titled Vida/Morte, Joshua Vasqez reveals a 6 month project of his own artwork. Joshua Vasquez is a 5th year undergraduate of the Drawing and Painting Program at CSU Long Beach School of Arts from Downtown Los Angeles. He graduates Spring 2017. Josh enjoys all forms of art, but favors using ink marker with his trash bag canvases. He has held a passion for art since a young boy, but never went after the idea of pursuing art until 2 years ago. Before pursuing art, Josh majored in communication studies.
Josh’s work depicts flowers and skulls-life and death. The room was dim, only illuminating his pieces on the wall and floor, evoking a sense of darkness. It was interesting to look into his piece, Los Ojos– composed of acrylic on red robin paper, layered with discarded flowers, because Josh successfully captures life and death in a single artwork. When asked why he uses simply black and white, he answered that the discarded flowers are his color. His black and white pieces on the walls, composed canvases made up of clear white trash bags and black ink marker embody more death as they depict human skulls and a cow skull. A fellow art appreciator was quick to ask Josh what he was attempting to encompass in his wall canvas because they were so different from the pieces on the floor. Josh responded that he depicts many skulls, however in a single piece-Rosado, he describes envisioning a rose. The soft, circular strokes were inspired by rose pedals. When Josh was forwarded with questions about his inspirations, influences, and drive he was short and hesitant. His hopes are for his admirers to draw their own personal conclusions to the meaning. I admire Josh Vasquez’s art and how he does not only embrace the beauty of life, but his art forces the observer to feel the beauty of death.
I can’t say my experiences have influenced my views on Joshua Vasquez’s art, however I am visually attracted to the dimness of the room and how it compliments the neutral tones from the red robin paper used in his flower-centered pieces such as Los Ojos and La Flor Muerta. His use of trash bags for canvas is intriguing in itself because I had never seen such resourceful innovation in art.