Wk5 – Artist Conversation – Josh Benz and Karen Solis

Josh and Karen’s painting was in the Gatov-East Gallery. Karen painted the realistic figures that look like they are watching television. Josh painted abstract figures around Karen’s painting. They used oil paint on a canvas. I talked to Josh because he was at the gallery. I think Karen wasn’t able to attend that day. Josh has a Facebook where he posts his paintings. His name on Facebook is Josh Benz. 

Josh Benz is a Senior and it’s his last year at CSULB. His major is Drawing and Painting. Josh started his painting 3 weeks ago. He majored in drawing and painting because he was influenced by his grandparents who are also artists. When I asked Josh what his painting is about he said it represents a transition from childhood to adulthood. He used different influences for his painting. Paints whatever he’s feeling at the moment. There are different scenes in the painting. One of the scenes is dark and erotic. He likes to use lots of color and he paints abstract figures. One of his figures looks like a person holding a child. Another figure is a portrait of himself holding a teddy bear and the teddy bear represents his childhood. The woman figure next to his portrait is like an alter ego of himself. 

Josh and Karen took turns painting and talked about ideas. He explained Karen’s painting style. She paints realistic figures and one of the figures that she painted is a portrait of herself. Her painting is two people that look like they are watching television. They are laying down and one of the figures has a remote in her hand. It also looks like these figures are floating on water and I guess they are watching all the different scenes that Josh painted. 

What I thought about the painting is that there is lots of color and the two figures watching T.V have so much detail and it’s realistic. The abstract scenes in the painting were interesting. I was thinking of what each scene represents. In one scene it looks like there might be a dark meaning or memory. There’s also this peacefulness of the two people laying down watching T.V. and the water around them. It makes me want to see more from each artist. I think it’s a good idea to collaborate with another artist because it adds more creativity and uniqueness to their art. 

Here is a picture of Josh and Karen’s painting.  

This is another painting that Josh did with another artist named Roddy Hernandez. 

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