Artist: Elmer Guevara and Robert Nehemiah
Media: Wood, Metal, Cardboard, Mixed-Media
Gallery: CSULB, School of Art, Gatov West
Instagram: @wookieewarior ( Robert Nehemiah)
Elmer Guevara and Robert Nehemiah are two senior Cal State Long Beach students working to get a BFA in drawing and painting.They both started drawing when they were kids and have been since. Besides drawing and painting, both Elmer and Robert are interested in music and traveling. Elmer enjoys playing the guitar on his free time, and is very good at it. They like to spend most of their free time away from school, not because they don’t like it, but because they like to break away from all the standards expected in a school.
In Elmer Guevara and Roberts Nehemiah Immaterial exhibition, we find many unique paintings. The pieces painted by Nehemiah are found on objects that would otherwise be considered trash. For example, one of his pieces is on a piece of rusty scarp metal that he found on the streets of L.A. Another one of his pieces is on a piece of beat up wood, some of it he broke off on his own to finish of the piece. The third one of his pieces is on a piece of beat up cardboard that he also found on the street. Guevara’s pieces are painted on canvases, some including multi-media. His pieces are very complex, but have a simple message. In one of his art pieces, he paints a man wearing jeans and he added pieces of denim cut outs to the canvas, making it look 3D. Nehemiah’s pieces are very colorful and distorted looking. Overall, they are very intriguing pieces.
These two artists have different inspirations for their work, but they still have a similar meaning behind their work. Guevara focuses on bringing awareness to the homeless people of L.A in his work. He went out and interviewed and photographed some homeless people that he came across. He took their stories and surroundings and made them into paintings. He mostly focused on incorporating objects that people usually don’t care about (street signs, scraps off metal, crates, tarps, etc.). His paints are very disoriented, portraying the life that these homeless people live. Nehemiah’s pieces are focused on the important people that influenced him. He painted these beautiful portraits on objects that are overlooked, (wood, cardboard, metal) much like the objects found in Guevara’s paintings. The idea behind this is that things aren’t meant to last forever, not even people. The two artists bring important topics and not-so important objects together to express the real importance that they hold.
I found the pieces in this gallery very easy to relate to. Growing up in L.A, I saw many of the things that were shown in this gallery. I’ve seen the hundreds of homeless people living on the streets of L.A, struggling everyday. I also saw all the “unimportant” objects everywhere. The streets of L.A are full of objects that people think are no longer good enough because of their condition, or simply because they have no value. I think the message that was portrayed in this gallery is perfect for the residents of L.A because of how fitting it is with the conditions here. Although I’ve witnessed these things, this gallery changed my perspective on the environment of L.A. I hate to say it, but before I, like many people, saw the objects shown in these pieces as unimportant. Now that i’ve gotten a chance to talk to these artists, I see that these objects are just as important and valuable as everything else, it just depends on how you look at them. Overall, I learned a lot from this gallery and I hope to see more of Guevara and Nehemiah’s work.