Life and Death: A Look Into Josh Vasquez


Artist: Josh Vasquez

Exhibition: Vida/Morte

Media: Drawing and Painting

Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery West


Instagram: @joshybehr

Los Angeles native and CSULB student, Josh Vasquez, has been an artist all his life and can’t imagine himself doing anything else. In his exhibition, he explores the connection and tension between life and death through various mediums of different scales. For 6 months, he expanded on his work and even created his favorite piece, Los Ojos Dos(not pictured), which his favorite because of its large scale. Although his exhibition consists of installation art, drawings, and paintings, he also enjoys photography as a way to capture moments along with expressing himself through his art.

Vida/Morte which shows little evidence of clean lines and perfect shapes utilizes a rugged style and illustrates that neither life or death is perfect. Through natural installations, colors, and strokes, Vasquez accentuates his eye for bringing out the abstract qualities of his thoughts on the tension between life and death because it cannot be explained through words. The lack of color also brings out the simplicity of both ideas despite both being somewhat unknown despite its importance. Throughout the colorless yet effective exhibit, Vasquez is able to illustrate two ideas that people believe to know so much about but cannot explain.

Vasquez discusses his interest in the tension between life and death, hence the name of his exhibition Vida/Morte. Due to the large scale of his pieces, it is obvious that he put plenty of thought and really focused on getting his pieces done to perfection throughout the 6 months of work. Many of his pieces include contrasting ideas aside from life and death such as black and white or clear and opaque. His art shows that two opposite ideas can coexist and make sense. Life and death are both abstract ideas but Vasquez explores this through his deep thought and intense interest for the ideas. This is particularly interesting because he knows that art is his life and without it, he wouldn’t know what else to do.

This exhibit gave me a lot to think about. What do I really know about life and death? Why are these two ideas so important to everyone? What is there to illustrate about it? Vasquez’ art gave me more perspective about these ideas. The tension between the two is so great yet it goes unnoticed. Everything must come to an end but once it does, something else starts anew. The lack of color, or even the dying colors especially caught my attention. Vasquez uses very limited colors yet his exhibit resonates not only with death, but also with life. Because of this, I wondered why life only relates to color. Not everything that happens while living is happy and colorful and that goes unnoticed. Although this may not have been the intent of the artist, the art has made me more appreciative of this idea and how not everything in life is perfect.


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