Wk4 – Artist Conversation -Josh Vasquez

Exhibition Information

Artist: Josh Vasquez
Exhibition: I Love The Way You Fall Asleep
Media: Canvas, Oil Paint, Graffiti
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery West
Website: N/A
Instagram: @joshybehr

About the Artist

Josh Vasquez is a fourth year undergraduate student pursing a BFA degree from the School of Art. He hopes to pursue a MFA in the future. He enjoys expressing himself through painting and sculpting. His work is based on the city of the Los Angeles and all that the city entails. He listens to hip-hop and finds inspiration from all aspects of the city.


Formal Analysis

There are black palm tree branches and leaves under the title of the exhibition. Complementing the black palms, the artists chose a bold, black font for his title. The color choice for the title is in contrast to most of his paintings which include brighter colors.

The artist’s work consists of all oil paints on canvas. Some are large while others are small. Some are sets while others are individual pieces. The artist has included a variation of colors that sometimes begin on one painting and end on another. He has incorporated the use of many primary colors as well as other colors with gradients.

The artist used vertical and horizontal strokes in his paintings to create the intended image. However, the lines are not straight. Some paintings feature drippings and words painted over. Two pieces contain graffiti over a gradient. While some stroke seem to be “straight,” others are edgy, shorter, and quicker. There is a certain texture on some of the paintings due to the layers of the paint.

Content Analysis

His work is about love because he loves the City of Los Angeles. He grew up in the city and and has always been inspired by it. The gradients are intended the represent the sunset he has seen in Los Angeles. They range in colors because the sunset is never the same. When asked why some words are painted over, the artist explained it symbolizes the history and layers of the city. Art and graffiti is painted over and then painted upon that layer again and again.

The title of the exhibition is a play on words because the words “fall asleep” are connected with the sunset images he paints. So, the artists loves the way the city falls asleep because of the sunsets that fall over the city. The black palms may represent the darkness in the city at night as palm trees always seem to represent Los Angeles.

Synthesis / My Experience

The artist considers his work more abstract and I would agree. It is deep and colorful.

While I enjoy portraits and landscape paintings, I also really enjoyed this series by the artist. Before I spoke with him, I did not know what the gradient of colors of meant but I was drawn to them. I saw the layers painted over and I imagined they were connected to graffiti somehow.

I am infatuated with the artist’s love for the city. I come from a smaller city where everything is different. I was sheltered. I find the artist’s love to be somewhat contagious. Though the city of Los Angeles can be a sad place for people with broken dreams and all of the homelessness, it can also be a beautiful place. There is a mixture of culture and color that can only be found in Los Angeles.

I love that the artist chose different brush strokes and directions for his pieces. They add character and dimension to each of the pieces. They are all so different but yet blend together beautifully.


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