Week 3: Conversation with an Artist – Kelvin Lopez

Facebook: facebook.com/lkart760

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Kelvin Lopez is an aspiring artist at CSU Long Beach. Out of all the schools he applied to and was accepted, he chose Long Beach because of its location. It’s located conveniently half way between his home, Oceanside, and downtown Long Beach. He is currently in his final semester and will earn is BFA come the end of spring; however, his senior showing will not come until next spring. He is currently in the program of screen-printing, but that is not where he originally began. He transferred as a painter, but found the classrooms he was working in to have poor ventilation. He quickly found out that this would hurt his breathing and often gave him headaches. He decided to look around and found that the screen-printing buildings had much better ventilation, and some of the best equipment among colleges in the West Coast. His art exhibit features pieces about his life, and each piece was inside a crystal of some form.

Talking with Mr. Lopez, I gained an appreciation for the sheer amount of work that went into each piece. He described the various steps and the precision necessary to make each piece, which extends far beyond what the eyes can see. Once piece, titled “2012-2016,” was two pictures of his dog inside a dark grey-black crystal, presumably one from the year 2012 and one from 2016. The dark colors in the piece are in the crystals, and the background is comprised of light colors: pink, light blue, yellow, green. The lines, like a crystal, are very rigged and stiff. The background texture seems to be very soft and flows well, whereas the crystal is very stiff. The other pieces had a very similar makeup: the background wasn’t quite as strong and as stiff as the crystal and the artwork inside of it.

He believes his artwork is a way for the viewer to spy into his life. All the pieces in the exhibit are about his life at different points in time. There are pieces with pictures of him in the crystals, his cousins, and his dogs. He said the motivation for his work is his life. Using the title of his main piece “Scry Baby,” this could suggest that he is using his past and placing them in time capsules, or the crystals, in order to help see into the future of his life. He went into depth describing how he was a spiritual person who believed in well-being and being well. He said his job as an artist is to communicate to the viewer.

I feel the way he described and related to his artwork was very impressionable. He was eager to explain why he made certain pieces certain ways, what they meant to him, what they’re meant to convey, and how they relate to his theme of crystals. He didn’t say that he used the crystals and his past to see into his own future (as it came into my mind a couple days later) but it’s definitely a peculiar idea. Personally, I’ve never wanted to know anything about the future. I find beauty in not knowing what is going to happen when you wake up each day. I feel if you knew what was in store for your life, it wouldn’t be nearly as exciting. While many people may not like surprises, it’s ultimately what makes life exciting.

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