Artist: Elmer Guevara
Media: Paints, Canvas, Tarp
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery West
About The Artist
Elmer Guevara is currently a student in California State University, Long Beach pursuing his Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in drawing and painting at the School of Arts. Throughout Elmer’s life, he knew from a very young age that he wanted to be an artist. Although having many other occupations in mind, Elmer remained diligent and stayed with his main calling in life, which was being an artist. Elmer lives in South Los Angeles and commutes to Long Beach. Elmer grew up around his older cousins and family members and was inspired to be an artist when he was exposed to graffiti art. From then on, he started to produce artworks that were very unique.
Elmer produces artworks that are very unique and very abstract. In addition, Elmer has a very contemporary approach. Majority of Elmer’s pieces involve him exploring his hometown of South Los Angeles and interviewing random individuals that are around his area. Elmer then picks up a certain vibe from the individual based on their body language, expressions, and speech. Afterwards, Elmer would take various photos at different angles and compiles them. From the photos and the vibe, Elmer would begin painting. In Elmer’s painting, it includes the individual as well as the information about that individual. In Elmer’s art pieces, it is very conspicuous that his artwork exhibited a blend of straight, jagged, and sinuous looks.
Although each art piece produced by Elmer had a different reason and background, he stated that his main goal was to shed light on the individuals that surrounds them that challenges our perceptions of their value. In each photo within the gallery, there is a person; however, around that person is the environment and situation that many of us are unaware of. However, after discussing about their experiences, situations, and background, Elmer displays that information within his pieces. In the first photo, Elmer was able to get an interview with a person named Greg, a random individual. After the interview, Elmer begins to draw and paint the piece based on the information he’s giving and the vibe that he is picking up from him. In addition, Elmer stated how he met Greg in his neighborhood and he kept moving during his interview and pictures. As a result, Elmer wanted to express his movement within his artwork.
Synthesis/ My Experience
While initially observing Elmer’s artwork, I was quite confused on what he was trying to display and express. However, after he started talking about his pieces and the story behind each piece, I began to understand the paintings more and the meaning behind them. I really enjoyed this experience because I have never seen an art piece that has the similar style as Elmer’s. Elmer utilizes multiple dimensions to express various ideas within a single art piece. I can relate to Elmer in various ways because I live fairly close to Downtown Los Angeles and commute to Long Beach on a daily basis. In addition, I lived around a few minutes away from where Elmer used to go to school, which was East Los Angeles College. Throughout my life, I have seen many graffiti art within my neighborhood and within my city. Majority of them are very beautiful and expresses many ideas. After this art conversation and observing the exhibit, I learned that each graffiti art has a story behind it and may be used to inspire individuals, such as Elmer Guevara.