Week 4 – Artist Conversation -Immaterial

Artist: Elmer Guevara & Robert Nehemiah 

Exhibition: Immaterial

Media: drawing, painting

Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery West

Website: N/A

Instagram: Elmer – @3lmski1 & Robert – @wookieewarrior

About the Artist 

Elmer Guevara and Robert Nehemiah are both undergraduate students here at Long Beach and are students in the School of Art’s Painting and Drawing program. They are both in their last year of college and are working towards a Bachelor in Fine Arts. They both grew up in the South Los Angeles area and have been drawing since they were little kids. Growing up in South Los Angeles allowed them to be exposed to things they found rather interesting and inspired them to start painting. Overall, they are both working hard on their artwork and are excited for what their future brings.

Formal Analysis

Guevara and Nehemiah share an exhibit at the Gatov Gallery West. They both decided to collaborate  because of the similarities in their artwork. Although they share the same concept, Guevara and Nehemiah each use different forms of art. Guevara paints abstract profiles on canvases, while Nehemiah paints portraits on abstract surfaces. Guevara’s artwork consists of many fragments that are all geometrically distorted. However, he uses bright colors to make each fragment stand out more. On the other hand, Nehemiah artwork is more straightforward and can easily be identified as a portrait. Unlike Guevara, Nehemiah uses darker colors which make the portraits much more serious.

Content Analysis 

Guevara and Nehemiah’s exhibit focuses on the irrelevance of people and objects in today’s society. Guevara decided to paint portraits of homeless people which focuses on the irrelevance of people. Growing up South Los Angeles, Guevara  grew interest in homeless people and wanted to share their stories through his artwork. Therefore, Guevara met, interviewed, and photographed some homeless people in their comfort zones, then painted them from the photographs he took. Guevara’s artwork was able to capture his experience and the environment his artwork took place in. As Guevara’s artwork focuses on the irrelevance of people, Nehemiah’s artwork focuses more on the object that the artwork is created on. Nehemiah’s portraits are all on unprimed surfaces that are not found useful or beautiful to the public. Nehemiah believes that these objects are often overlooked because people just don’t care for them. Therefore, Nehemiah decided to paint portraits of people who are important to him but are also temporary. As his artwork focuses on the idea of important people being temporary, he was able to capture the relevance of temporary surfaces that are often overlooked.

My Experience

When I walked into Guevara and Nehemiah’s exhibit I was immediately drawn by the beauty in their artwork. At first Guevara’s artwork confused me but when he took the time to explain it I understood it more. I was then able to see how each fragment in his artwork connected. On the other hand, when I looked at Nehemiah’s artwork I was able to understand it right off the bat. The dark colors he used gave emotion to his artwork and that gave a deeper meaning to his artwork. Overall, I found a lot of beautiful qualities in Guevara and Nehemiah’s artwork.


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