Wk 3- Artist Conversation- Josh Vasquez


Artist:Josh Vasquez
Exhibition: Vida/Morte
Media: ink markers, clear plastic trash bags, paper mounted on wood panels, red rosin paper, and discarded flowers
Gallery:CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery West

When I spoke to Joshua a student of the school of arts, I was very interested in the image he was trying to portray with Vida/Morte or life and death. He was very passionate about all items having an ulterior use after they are no longer useful. Basically that an item can be reused or reincarnated to portray a new image etc. This reincarnation that he sees in items can be seen throughout his work especially in his larger piece “Los Ojos” where dead flowers which are normally discarded are used to portray a different image.
My favorite piece of work by Josh is “Los Ojos” was a large floor piece that immediately captured my attention. When I entered the gallery, the aroma of dead flowers was in the air along with the dim lights and there it was,Los Ojos. Los Ojos is constructed of acrylic on red rosin paper along with discarded flowers. The piece was very dark with the paper almost portraying a grave, but the lifeless flowers still showed beauty through their dead and trampled pedals. Hints of life shown through the dark.
I believe Josh is tying to portray the theme of beauty in death.By reusing items that seem useless and maybe trash to us and use them for a new purpose such as the flowers or the plastic bags he paints his images on. A “new life” can be given to these items and that is the message I believe Josh is trying to send.
Josh’s gallery was my favorite due to the fact that I’m interested in the darker aspects of things and when I walked into his gallery I got an irie feeling. The concept of finding new life in discard items has always interested me. I found it fascinating how the dead flowers could be salvaged into a piece of art. I also enjoyed the various skull paintings especially the one with the saying “it doesn’t have to be more than this” in the eye canal. That phrase to an extent contradicts his concept of new life in his work. Perhaps a contradiction he intended.


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