Artist: Elmer Guevara and Robert Nehemiah
Media: Drawing & Painting
Gallery: Max L. Gatov Gallery West
Instagram: @wookieewarrior & @3lmski1
About the Artist
Elmer Guevara and Robert Nehemiah are currently attending CSULB to achieve their BFA in Drawing and Painting. They both have been drawing at a very young age and have been interested in pursing a career in art ever since. Some of the hobbies they like to do on their spare time is playing music (Robert) and traveling (Elmer). Both Elmer and Robert come from the Los Angeles area, with Robert coming from Pico Rivera and Elmer from downtown LA. Most of their art work draws inspiration from where they grew up, which is the main inspiration for their shared art gallery “Immaterial”.
With downtown LA being their main inspiration, the audience is exposed to artwork inspired by the other side of LA that not a whole lot of people like to talk about. In Elmer’s case, he drew inspiration from homeless people he meet on the street and had conversations with. Elmer payed very close attention to some of the attributes to the people he talked to, such as a man with Parkinson’s disease who kept on shaking during the interview. When Elmer went to draw the portrait of the man, he incorporated not just the surroundings, but his disease to make the portrait more unique. In the case of Robert, he made portraits of not just strangers, but also of some of his family members and friends but he does his artwork on non-canvas materials. These materials include cardboard, torn paper, and aluminum to let the audience know that you do not need any fancy canvas to make miraculous art pieces.
Like I had stated before, the main inspiration to the art gallery “Immaterial” is to show the “bad” side of downtown LA. In Elmer’s case, he wanted to be able to draw on a canvas but bring out a sort of disoriented look to the gallery. Since all the people he interviewed were homeless and living on the street, he incorporated the streets and the environment in the painting itself and made it sort of “abstract”, so it isn’t a typical portrait painting. He incorporated the environment because that can be thought of as the “home” of the people he talked to. With Robert, he wanted to express his portrait in a non-abstract way, but instead make the “canvas” itself abstract. The reasoning behind this is because all the items he acquired to draw his paintings could in theory be found in the slums of LA. Robert also wanted to take on a challenge to make some portraits on some hard-to-create surfaces.
Synthesis / My Experience
I enjoyed viewing the art work pieces from the gallery “Immaterial”. It did give me a sense of being in the slums of LA because all of the art work draws from the “ghetto” side of LA. What stood out to me the most was the portraits that were made on the non-canvas material because I have never really seen art work that was drawn on something that is not a canvas. I did also enjoy the paintings on the canvas because I am a huge fan of abstract art, but the paintings on irregular materials really got to me. All in all, it was a very nice gallery to look at and I loved all the LA inspired artwork.