Artist: Elmer Guevara
Media: Canvas, Paints, Tarp
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery West
About the Artist
Elmer Guevara is currently attending California State University Long Beach to achieve his Degree of Fine Arts in drawing and painting at the school of Arts. Currently, he commutes to Long Beach from South Central. Elmer grew up with with his cousins and family at LA which helped inspire him to be an artist after being exposed to the many art pieces around LA, specifically graffiti art. During his lifetime, he had thought of other jobs that he can pursue but he decided to follow his passion and stayed as an artist.
Elmer showcased his work and most of his work had a very similar theme. It was abstract yet also contemporary. The background of the art piece is very abstract with all sorts of colors and shape. Then, he would start painting an individual mixed with very sharp lines, distorting lines and color blending. Most of his pieces are inspired from his hometown and he managed to get most of his ‘models’ from interviewing random people.
All of his interviews took place in South Central which is where he managed to interview all of the people the he is showcasing in his exhibit. He would first interview the individual to get a better understanding of where they came from before he took their photo. One of the most interesting interviews he had was with Greg. Greg is the individual wearing a white hat. During his interview and photo taking process, Elmer noticed how much Greg moved around a lot which is clearly expressed in the painting that he did. Elmer’s main focus is to showcase the lives of the people that we generally do not think of and to introduce their perspective.
Synthesis / My Experience
I really enjoyed his exhibit. I did not think much of his work rather than it looking pretty. All of the sharp shapes and ragged lines made the art pieces seem complicated and abstract so I did not even try to comprehend what it is. What brought me to believe that they had a deeper meaning was with the picture of the person sleeping on the street. It stood out to me that the background is supposed to represent where they are currently placed at. In that same painting, you can see the person sleeping from looks like under a bridge and next to his shopping cart by a streetlight. I cannot really relate with Elmer because I have not seen a graffiti art that I enjoyed. I am not really fond of graffiti art but he made it really unique by making it abstract. It gave me a whole new perspective to graffiti art and makes me want to explore more.