Week 3 | Artist Conversation: Kelvin Lopez

Exhibition Information:

Artist: Kelvin Lopez

Exhibition: Scry Baby

Media: Lithography, Watercolor transparency, Gum Arabic

Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Dr. Maxine Merlino Gallery

Website: facebook.com/klart760

Instagram: @klart760

About the Artist:

Kelvin Lopez is a senior undergraduate student in the School of Art’s Printmaking program. Kelvin is currently working towards his BFA in printmaking and is planning to go to graduate school after that.

Kelvin is originally from Oceanside and now resides in Long Beach. Growing up, he was always interested in art, but never had the resources to pursue it until he started high school and took some art classes. In his high school art classes, Kelvin said he wasn’t that great at it. He said he remembered when students had to draw each other from across the tables, and he had the worst drawing out of all of the other students. This only encouraged him to take more classes and learn more art skills and become a better artist.

Kelvin’s interests include spending time with his two dogs, a purebred Siberian husky and a German shepherd mix. He also enjoys drinking beer, hanging out with friends, going to shows and listening to music where he can meet other people with similar interests.

Before transferring to CSULB, Kelvin was in the drawing and painting program at a community college. He came from a painting background and believes that when it comes to painting, there is no such thing as messing up until it is finished. But now, with printmaking, Kelvin says that he has learned to be more precise with his work and carefully align the layers.

Formal Analysis:

Scry Baby is a solo exhibition by Kelvin that features different artworks that reflect his personal life. Kelvin brings 3d into 2d by printmaking. In his works, he uses printmaking and water colors to layer “crystals” over images. This mimics the practice of scrying and gives us the idea that we are looking at his life through crystals. The watercolors are transparent and overlay the images. There are lots of geometric qualities to his works that resemble the geometric lines and shapes you see in a crystal.

Content Analysis:

Scry Baby is inspired by crystals and by the practice of scrying. Kelvin grew an interest for crystals when his ex-girlfriend introduced them to him. Kelvin was also inspired when his professor brought him a green onyx crystal from Argentina. Kelvin says that each crystal represents a different kind of belief. He researched “scrying” and incorporated that into his works. Crystal scrying is crystal gazing and it allows one to see psychic visions in the crystal.

In one of his pieces, you can see a photo of him from early childhood and another photo of him that is recent. Crystal images are overlaid on the photos. It is almost like you are gazing into a crystal and seeing into his past and present. Kelvin said that he pulls two images together and integrates crystal imagery to symbolize scrying. He said that he uses images from his youth and present to symbolize scrying into the past and present. The ideas that his work explores is his personal life and his experiences. He does this by using crystals in his artwork and allowing us to catch a glimpse into his personal life. In his artwork, his nephews and his dogs are also featured.

Synthesis:

I really enjoyed looking at all of Kelvin’s artwork and I liked that everything was inspired by crystals. It is interesting how Kelvin incorporated the ideology of scrying into his works. After I researched a little about scrying, I looked back on his artwork and it really felt as if I were gazing into a crystal and seeing his life. Kelvin uses photos of his family, his past life, and his dogs and I think that everyone can relate to that on some level. Kelvin said that what motivates his work is to connect with his viewers and I feel like he really accomplished that with Scry Baby.