Artist: Robert Nehemiah
Gallery: Max L. Gatov Gallery West
Robert was burn in South Gate, CA and he’s currently an undergraduate at CSULB with a major in BFA-drawing and painting. He is finishing his last semester this spring and will be moving forward to graduate school. He has been drawing since he can remember and has always had a deep passion for it. His philosophy around his art is materialism and how common things that are overseen can be art. For example, he used unique platforms for his artwork. This included wood, cardboard and tarp. He said that when he was in the midst of his art, he realized that his artwork may have even more meaning than he originally thought. He said that his original message was that his artwork would not last due to the unusual and unprimed canvas symbolizing how things in life are temporary. However, while he was painting his older loved ones, he realized they too have an expiration date. Because of this, we can’t take life for granted and live every moment to the fullest. His main goal for his artwork was to explore, not necessarily to be sold. He also has an interest in music.
Robert’s materials included oil on unprimed wood, metal, cardboard and tarp. He explained how playing with some of these surfaces were quite challenging as they would absorb the paint and end up costing a lot of money and time. This gallery took about eight months to complete.
Robert’s motivation in his art is materialism. Not only things are temporary, but so are people. He also exemplifies how art can be created on surfaces people tend to overlook as garbage.
Meeting Robert was truly inspiring. His outlook on life was intriguing and showed in his art. He has undeniable talent and passion for art. Each piece had someones name as the title and made it more personable. I loved that he painted people who are very important to him; his mentor, mother, grandmother, even himself. He gives value to things that society sees as invaluable. He was very easy to speak with and had clear vision of his artwork and what it represented. My favorite piece was “Portrait of a Grandmother.” You could see the withering details of her age and I believe by pairing this portrait to cardboard was a perfect marriage. He also said this was his favorite piece as he spent the most time on it and when he realized the metaphor for that people do not last as well.