*my camera was not reacting well with the lights in the showcase room… my apologies for all these pictures having vertical stripes all over them :(*
Artist: Kelvin Lopez
Exhibition: Scry Baby
Media: painter, illustrator, printmaker, all around art maker
Gallery: Dr. Maxine Merlino Gallery at Cal State Long Beach School of Art
About the Artist
Kelvin Lopez is an undergrad senior at CSULB. He previously received an associate’s degree in his hometown San Diego, but is working towards his BFA in the School of Art’s Printmaking Program. Originally, his freshman year of high school he took an art class, and claimed he was not that good at it; that’s what pushed him to take more art classes, to get better. He says potential is how art works. He’s a printmaker and he actually works for the school too! He loves to screenprint because it allows you to have a lot of layers to your artwork. He claims you have to align your layers or the final product is going to be “fucked up” (his words, not mine!) and he said the exactness of his work made him become more precise in what he does.
The work showcased in the gallery was all screenprinting Kelvin did himself. His exhibit is called Scry Baby. Confused on what scry meant, I googled it. Scry means foretelling the future using a crystal ball or other reflective object or surface, which makes a lot more sense because in the middle of his art exhibit was a table full of assorted crystals. Also, as you can see his artwork is portrayed within a crystal shape. All the edges of his drawn crystals weren’t necessarily straight or even to the adjacent side, but random and unique because no crystal is identical. The texture of his artwork appears flat, but when you get a closer look you can tell that many layers were put into the final product. Every color shown had its own layer. The scale of the subjects within the crystals occupy the whole crystallized form. Taking advantage of the original shape he created with the crystal, he fills them with his dogs, himself, or even his nephew.
Kelvin stated that crystals are his subject matter. He even revealed that his first crystal he received was from his ex-girlfriend, a green onyx to be more specific. He said he has always been interested in art, but never had the proper resources. After receiving the crystal, he started looking to them to forsee information. He says uses limestones to draw and print. He experiments with different medias, and when he messes up, he says it’s unintentional. A lot of his artwork has his himself and his dogs in it. He likes to show his personal life in his art, and although I didn’t catch why he likes to incorporate childhood pictures of himself, I’d like to safely assume he likes to remember where he all started. He himself claimed he was not good at art in the beginning, but with hard work and potential, he got exponentially better. C’mon, he has his own exhibit now! As for his dogs being in his artwork, he says he just loves them so much. His purebred husky and german shepherd mix are his best friends. Who doesn’t love dogs?
Synthesis / My Experience
Personally, I loved his exhibit! At first, I didn’t know what scry baby meant, and I thought to be “artsy” he was spelling “scary” without the “a” to be unique and original. After looking up what scry actually meant, his artwork made so much more sense to me! All his work with his dogs, especially the husky, were my absolute favorite. I love huskies more than anything, and with having one of my own, it made me miss home so much. Academically, when he said he wasn’t originally good at art, that gave me some inspiration- if he could do it and produce amazing art like this, then maybe one day I could succeed in my field of choice too! His perspective on crystals was unique and I’ve never seen anything like it. I believe his formal nature of the work he produces is showing the most important things in his life through the beauty of nature. After all, crystals are formed when liquid rock cools, leaving a beautifully unique form in it’s place, much like his art.