WEEK 5 – ARTIST CONVERSATION – JOSH BENZ & KAREN SOLIS

When gazing at a painting, sometimes it may be hard to understand what story the painting is trying to tell. When I first looked at this painting, I didn’t think much of it. I looked at it, took a picture of my blog, and soon walked away after. At first, I wasn’t really intrigued by the painting because I didn’t really understand what was happening and that’s when I stepped outside to speak to the artist. This week in the art gallery, I had the opportunity to meet Josh Benz. He is a student at CSULB and is expecting to graduate spring of this year.

Josh collaborated on this abstract painting with another artist named Karen Solis. Unfortunately Karen was not able to make it, but Josh explained and described their painting very well. Josh explained that there are two ways to collaborate with a partner: together or against. Josh and Karen decided that they wanted to work with each other, so that their painting was cohesive. The idea of this painting revolved around time. He related this painting to the transition of childhood to adulthood. Karen started the painting with the two figures and Josh decided to cover the whole canvas except for the figures. After Josh finished covering the whole canvas, it was hard for Karen to figure out what she wanted to do. He started to draw unrealistic drawings on the canvas, when Karen had already started with the two realistic figures. He started to add in implied things instead of literal objects. He began to get creative and added in random things that matched his style. In this painting the two figures are watching what seems to be a television. In the television depicts their adulthood and future in a not-so-serious manner. This painting took about 3 weeks because they had to work on the details. The decided to paint in the lines to add a better sense of setting like a bedroom within the television box. They also added in a light source to make the characters the main focus.

I really enjoyed this painting because I do think that the future and adult hood does scare a lot of us. This painting is drawn using creativity to lighten the mood of the audience. When people think of their future it often stresses us, but with this painting I think they did a really good job at trying to depict out future as something that can be fun. Our future is however we make it to be. It doesn’t have to be something so serious and intimidating, but a lot of people make it out to be. I really connect with this painting because it isn’t a serious painting in the aspect of how we see the story it’s telling us. Our lives can be fun and creative and we shouldn’t always worry about what the future holds for us. Anything can happen to our futures, but most of the time we can control how we want our futures to turn out.

Josh Benz explaining his painting!
Josh Benz explaining his painting!

Josh Benz’s Contact Information:

Linkedln: https://www.linkedin.com/pub/josh-benz/85/a2b/978

Karen Solis’s Contact Information:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/karen.solis.94?fref=ts

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