Artist: Kelvin Lopez
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Dr. Maxine Merlini Gallery
About the Artist
Kelvin Lopez is an undergraduate in printmaking working towards his BFA at California State University, Long Beach. He is from San Diego and decided to come out to Long Beach State because he wanted a middle ground in between LA and SD. Kelvin plans to attend grad school after getting his BFA. Something to note is that, Kelvin got into printmaking through drawing and painting. He got a headache from oil painting so he decided to never work with those kinds of chemicals again. He prefers using natural resources like print making does. He managed to get a job as a lab tech assistant in the printmaking lab here at CSULB. When he was younger, he was always into art but never had the resources he has now. His work revolves around crystals. He got into crystals because his ex-girlfriend had introduced him to crystals, she gave him a Green Onyx which stands for something that makes your desire come true. He couldn’t really find any information about green onyx at the time, but he found that black onyx was volcanic ash and this sparked his motivation to research and learn about crystals. He is also very spiritual with these crystals as he learns and places few around his body. It comes down to the his exhibition, Scrying. Scrying is about being able to look through a crystal to foresee an event. Kelvin has a few people that he looks up to such as Alex Grey, Fred Tomaselli, and his very own boss Bob Brown who works as a Lab Technician and does “trippy” work.
Kelvin’s work is like images almost. His work includes images, paint, frames, and hand drawings. For every single piece that he has in the gallery, he includes a crystal. All his work is held within a frame and capture images of straight edged crystals. This seems to give the impression that an person or thing is trapped inside the crystal. On the other hand, after talking to Kelvin, he explains that these images or people inside these crystals are events that are to be foreseen.
The artists’ work resembles a lot about his personal life. In the majority of the prints, he includes images of himself, his nephews, and his dogs. He relates his work back to his personal life because thats what motivates him to keep doing what he does. For example, he puts his personal life into his work and the goal is to be able to connect with the viewer and have people respond to his work whether its a compliment or a critique, that is why he likes art. He feels that art is and should be for the artist to speak to the audience. He mentions that everyone he follows on social media are expressing their opinions about political issues and the current presidency. As for him, he wants to express his personal life and connect with the viewers.
Synthesis / My Experience
I personally think that Kelvin’s work is in a unique level of it’s own. I love the idea of how he incorporates his life into his art because it reflects his passions. He is actually pursuing his dreams and goals just by following his passion, something that is more than difficult for people to do in today’s world. Something that really stands out to me is how he emphasizes his personal life into his art. He uses stories of his life, specifically his interest in crystals and his nephews to create an image. I find it interesting that throughout his first art class in High School, he struggled to learn to draw because I was in the same position as him. I never really learned how to draw throughout my first art class so I quit. As for Kelvin, he stuck through it and followed his passion. This leaves an impression on me that I should follow my passion and keep doing what I love to do because thats exactly what he is doing and he is enjoying every bit of it.
Heres a few images of my experience in his gallery. The first row from left to right: A selfie with the artist Kelvin Lopez, Two pieces of his work, and my classmates checking out his work.
The bottom row Is his flyer for his exhibition and a few Crystals that influence his art work!