Golden State of Mine
Exhibition: December 3, 2009 - January 30, 2010
Reception: December 3, 2009 from 6:00-9:00PM
Golden State of Mine, an exhibit featuring the paintings of Steven Vasquez Lopez, is a visual celebration of the everyday patterns and colors that become the layers of our life experiences. In this exhibit, Lopez guides his viewers on a personal journey through the great state of California.
Works in this exhibit feature luminous candy stripes of color assembled in graphic layers, mapping out hallucinogenic cityscapes. These urban scenes transition from exciting cities to tranquil pastures where livestock are adorned by damask patterning. “I am addicted to the labor of painting where intricate patterns and purposeful mark-making construct a representation of a personal experience”, says Lopez.
Lopez’s three large paintings featured in the Alcoves work as journal excerpts through the life of the artist as he transitioned from life in San Francisco back to life in Southern California. Along with his work in the Alcoves, Lopez is exhibiting new site-specific pieces in the Display Cases. These supporting pieces emphasize the central theme of detailed pattern and the changing California landscape. Through this body of work, Lopez explores the question, “What is the California Artist?”
Beginning as a life drawing artist, Lopez’s figures slowly transformed from people to bulls, personifying life, masculinity and human relationships. Now predominately a landscape artist, Lopez uses the traditional medium of painting in a contemporary context distinguishing his paintings with unique pattern work.
Lopez uses a drop-and-pull baroque pattern technique to create intricate embellishments throughout his work. Paired with flamboyant patterning and docile livestock, Lopez creates a contrasting world of celebration and seclusion. Through this work, the artist’s intention is to “focus on isolation, physical and emotional, and the feelings it can evoke”.
Raised in the Catholic Church by a seamstress and Navy jet engine mechanic, Lopez’s work is influence by the vibrancy of his Mexican-American upbringing in rural Southern California. He is able to narrate his personal history through repetition of form and color, punctuated by pastoral and religious imagery. Working with acrylics on wood panel, Lopez renders radiant assemblages of past and present with both a sense of tenderness and a `razor-sharp hand.
Steven Vasquez Lopez, a graduate of Rubidoux High School, received his BA in Art Studio from UC Santa Barbara in 2000 and his MFA in Painting from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2007. He has exhibited his work in solo and group exhibitions throughout California for the past ten years.