For this week’s artist conversation, I had the pleasure of visiting and interviewing Christopher Michael Linquata’s showcase in the Max L. Gatov Gallery West at CSULB. Linquata is an inspiring artist currently attending college at CSULB who is originally from San Fernando Valley, California. He is in his last semester, studying to earn his Master’s Degree in Fine Arts in representational painting and drawing. Linquata is earning his degree in hopes to use his it to become a professional artist to sell his artwork, or even become an art teacher to aspiring young artists. He took a lot of inspiration from other people and other artists and created his own artwork, and wants to inspire other people the way he was inspired by others.
Christopher Linquata’s gallery was titled “Sacred & Profane” and was displayed in the Gatov West Gallery. When I first walked into this gallery, I quickly notices four large canvas paintings hung on the wall, along with a shelf displaying three small paintings. While looking through the gallery, I noticed that the paintings contained a familiar face. The artist painted himself into the paintings, which really caught my off-guard. Each of the paintings were all part of a destroyed beach theme. He had the idea of a sunken city, then looked for spaces that would fit it in his paintings. He would scout around the area the actual sucked city beach and see if the idea he envisioned would fit in his paintings. If he needed to, he would add other elements such as rocks to fit it to how he pictured it, so it’s wasn’t the exact image of the place.
For the actual paintings, he added a lot of layers of painting until he feels that it was good enough. The rocks had more paint layers than the sky. He would layer the graffiti and if he didn’t like the color he would paint over it until he was satisfied. He mentioned that nothing in the paintings was locked into place; he could change it whenever he pleased just by painting over it. He liked adding textures to the paintings. Linquata had mentioned that he was really proud of the last two paintings because they were personal. The three small paintings were of his family, wife and child, so it was very personal to him. Linquata painted through his imagination, memory, reference from drawings. He would even paint at the place, and if he really needed to, he would take a picture to use as an aid because the lighting doesn’t always stay the same.
While walking through the gallery, I had noticed that the paintings looked really familiar to me. As I talked to the artist, he had mentioned that his inspiration was from the Sunken City in San Pedro, which is a place that I love visiting. I really enjoy looking at people’s take on a place and their creativity put into a recreation of what they see in a place they have been to. I think it’s really great how an artist can create a painting based off something they have experienced, but also add their own touch and creativity to their work. I also loved how he incorporated his family into his work to share his experiences with us. Linquata also mentioned how he wanted to help other people through his paintings by sharing the message that he does not let things get to him easily. After visiting his gallery, I really felt like I took a trip to a beach because his paintings felt so realistic and even more so after talking to him about the beach itself. He has taught me to enjoy life and everything around me. He also taught me to not take life so seriously, and to just enjoy the time we have with everything we do or see.
Christopher Michael Linquata’s Contact Information: