Wk5. Artist Conversation – Josh Benz & Karen Solis

So last week I visited the Gatov-East Gallery and noticed Josh and Karen’s painting. They both did a collaboration on canvas. Karen did the human like forms in the paintings and Josh did the details around the figures. I interviewed Josh because Karen was not there and got to a better understanding of the painting.

Josh is in his senior year at Cal State Long Beach, majoring in Drawing and Painting. His inspiration to major in this were his grandparents, who were artists as well. He said he started the painting alongside Karen about 3 weeks ago, trying to demonstrate the transition from childhood to adulthood. One of the figures, the one with the stuffed bear represents him and his childhood. That was not the only influence behind the painting, he said it also has to do with what he is feeling at the moment. He said he likes to paint abstract figures and use different dark scenes. Josh said him and Karen discussed ideas and switched between the painting. He described her painting style as to draw real life figures. She painted the two human like figures laying on the floor together as if watch television.

It is an intriguing piece of work, the idea of the distorted surroundings surrounding the figures creates an Inception type of view. I can kind of see the childhood representation, and kind of think that the people laying on the floor are reminiscing back to their lives before they met, up until when they met. That shows the girl on the far left and the boy on the far right, and in the middle them two in the same room. That is the representation it shows, and the couple on the floor laying down are going through “channels” or memories of their past.

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