Artist: Kelvin Lopez
Exhibition: Scry baby
Media: Print Making Department
Gallery: CSULB School Of Art
For week three, I had the pleasure of meeting artists Kelvin Lopez. Kelvin is a San Diego native and an undergrad here at CSULB and is part of the School of Arts Printmaking department. He s aiming to earn is BFA, which is a Bachelors of Arts, and then graduate to grad school. He started out as a painter when he first grew interest in art, but he found that print-making was something he already had a natural knack for. Kelvin’s art is more of an underground taste, all ideas are developed in his own mind with connections to his personal life; he likes to convey real life experiences into his work. Lopez named his art exhibit “scry baby” due to the works’ content, crystals. Every art piece incorporated some type of crystal, whether it be the real life crystals on the mantle pieces or incorporated design on the print makings. He made his first connection with crystals and scrying through a professor at his community college who brought him a green onyx from Argentina. He grew interest in the background of power in each crystal, which then became a part of his life; therefor becoming his muse for art.
As stated before, Kelvin’s main tool for creating artwork, is crystals. When it comes to the pieces that he put on display, they all seemed to have one main idea of crystals, the past, and the future. To help his audience understand his concept easier, Kelvin placed a description of his work on the wall nearest to the entrance. To sum up the paragraph, he pulls two dimensional pictures to integrate the practice of scrying, with its foretelling powers. He incorporates images from the past and present day, inside of these printed crystals, to symbolize the act of scrying. Specifically, he had a piece named “1992-2016” where two crystals are framed side by side, In the left crystal is a baby photo of Lopez wearing a blue tank top and propped up. Inside the right crystal is a full-grown Lopez, wearing another blue shirt, but this time his top says “I ❤ Long Beach” and his hands have tattoos. The two are a simple and clear description of the title, yet so complex at the same time. The background to each piece is never the same, it looks like water paint, but all in various colors and tones. The crystals are jagged for clear reasons, but polished, even on paper. Kelvin only recently found the photos of himself as a child and decided to incorporate them into the project, making home photos one of his most important materials. all art pieces were hung separate fro each other in a black, slim frame. With the bright consistency in each piece and clean, white background of the room and podiums holding very neutral colored crystals, the color of the prints shined even more.
Kelvin Lopez wants to capture the beauty of crystals and their natural resources in his work. After having initially establishing his infatuation with crystals, he researched them to understand their capabilities. With his already strong belief in giving off good vibes and being eco friendly, crystals were a perfect for for him. Lopez likes to practice spirituality through his art, playing around with the idea of seeing what’s to come through crystals. In his own words, “I like to practice what I preach on well-being , even in my art work.” Through his work, you can see just that. There isn’t one piece where Lopez himself, or one of his nephews doesn’t look purely happy, content at least. Hell, even each piece has a splash of color, nothing dry or sad, but positive and uplifting. Walking through his exhibition, you can just feel the nostalgia in every piece, which I think he was trying to convey in the first place with all of the baby pictures.
To me, Kelvin Lopez’s exhibition was all about nostalgia and hope, hope for the future. I personally have never been into crystals or known, before talking to Kelvin, that they held their own properties. I cannot say that I agree with everything that he feels about crystals and seeing the future or healing properties, but I do think that he conveyed all of his beliefs perfectly in his exhibit. I really appreciated his inclusion of his nephews in his pieces, it showed that he was making examples out of others and not just himself. I could really tell through asking Lopez personal questions about his influence for art, that he wanted to share his viewpoint with others. He wants his work to be open for interpretation, but also wants his audience to know where he is coming from and why each piece was developed the way that it was. I love the watercolors in the back of each piece, the nostalgic feel of each childhood picture, and the inspiration for this exhibit. In the words of Lopez, “No such thing as messing up until you’re finished”. He may not have started off a natural artist, but with time and practice, plus the realization that art wasn’t just painting, he found his way. He, as an individual, has inspired me to not give up on things just because they don’t click immediately, some things you must work for, and when you believe so in your own energy, you can make it happen. All in all, I appreciate Lopez’s work and concept for what it is, and I appreciate his character even more.