Artist: Robert Nehemiah and Elmer Guevara
Media: Paint, Wood, Metal, Canvas, Cardboard
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery West
- Robert Nehemiah:@wookieewarrior
- Elmer Guevara: @3lmski1
In this weeks artist conversation, I had the chance to speak to Elmer Guevara and Robert Nehemiah, currently students at Cal State Long Beach. Before attending Cal State, both artists both attended community college, and it is there they decided to pursue a career in drawing and painting. Currently they are both Seniors trying to earn their degree in BFA: Drawing and painting; however, for Robert this wasn’t his first career choice. Growing up, Robert was always an artist but when it was time for him to decide what he wanted to pursue as an adult, he decided to become a firefighter. His decision to take on this career was due to the fact that being a firefighter, in his opinion, is a more well-paying career compared to being an artist and it is more steadily. During his time in community college, he decided to follow his passion and become an artist. Elmer however always knew that he wanted to become an artist because he grew up in an area where there was a diverse amount of art, such as graffiti and spray painting, which shows in his art.
In their exhibit “Immaterial,” it focuses on using objects and people as an inspiration for art and to bring to light how we as the audience tend to ignore and misuse elements of the earth and devalue them because we find them to be unworthy and categorize them to be no longer “important”. For Elmer, he focused more on bringing to light the people on the streets and the area that they are surrounded by. Elmer was able to interview and photograph the people in each picture, and by doing so, he was able to really capture the state of mind and build a connection with each person. His paintings are a collage of photos that he put together and through these collages, he wanted to show the audience what it was like for these people to live on the streets and where they are mentally. As for Robert, each of his art pieces are painted on objects that he was able to find on the street because he wanted to show the audience that there are objects that are thrown away because they are “useless” when in reality they could be used for something else. Each person he drew are people who taught about materialism and how to break away from conformity and materialistic items, and be content with just the necessities.
When looking at each of their art pieces, I felt drawn to each person that was shown. their attention to detail and the lesson that they wanted to teach the audience really showcased in this exhibit. I believe that we do tend to forget about the people on the streets and that they were once “important” like us until society told them they no longer weren’t. By displaying them for all to see, reminds the audience what is really going on in our streets. Also, by using materials like wood as a canvas, I felt was inspiring also because we as a group usually just throw away things when we no longer have any use for them when that shouldn’t be the case. Utilizing every each of something makes us more cautious of our enviorment and those that helped build those items. Overall, I feel like their idea of using their art as a lesson really showed through in this exhibit.