WK 4 – Artist Conversation – Elmer Guevara & Robert Nehemiah

Exhibit Information

Artist: Elmer Guevara & Robert Nehemiah
Exhibition: Immaterial
Media: spray paint, plastic
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery West
Instagram:  Robert Nehemiah – @wookieewarrior ; Elmer Guevara – @3lmski1

Immaterial consists of different artworks that display the familiarity and the mystery of the artists, Elmer Guevara and Robert Nehemiah. In particularly, the artists wanted to display and shed a light on the things that are irrelevant to most people. This way, the artists want to denounce this kind of belief and defy their value in society.  The exhibit shows a collaborative work between the two artists in which create a unique artworks that shows both of their beliefs, art techniques and passion.

Robert Nehemiah is currently a student in CSULB and graduating  this semester with a bachelor degree in drawing and painting. As a young kid, Robert wanted to be a firefighter however he somehow always returns to art.  He found music and art interesting that he practiced them more and later realized that he wanted to become an artist. In this exhibit, he was inspired by the philosophy of materialism and wanted to explore this idea through his artworks. With that being said, he uses all kinds of materials that many would consider as trash. At first, he mentions that materials are not usually related to the artwork however as he moves along with the project the materials seem to have meaning to his subject. For instance, one of his works in the exhibit, “Portrait of a Grandma” , is made of plastic which is fragile like his grandmother and has a short longevity that describes his grandmother’s old age.  In contrast with Elmer, Robert’s style is more traditional and humanistic.

Elmer Nehemiah is also a student from CSULB and studying for a bachelor of drawing and painting.  He grew up in LA with graffiti around his neighborhood.  With that being said, he was naturally drawn to art and used the streets of LA as his inspiration. Furthermore, he utilizes the people around him as his inspiration in his art and showing their life through Elmer’s perception. He did this through interviewing random people, recording his adventures and taking photographs in South LA . For example, one of his work in the exhibit, “Greg”, is about a stranger he met in LA and when he interviewed him, he kept on moving and was in a dismantled state. The artwork shows a man in the middle with some kind of movement in the background that reflects the fast pace city that interferes with the man’s face. In comparison to Robert, Elmer’s art technique seems to be more abstract and contemporary, however similar due to their subject versus surface philosophy that they portrayed in their artworks.

When I first entered the exhibit, I loved the style and vibe of the exhibit. It felt like walking in a familiar street where the people told their stories through graffiti. The most interesting part of the exhibit for me was the different subject and the artists. various styles of displaying their stories.  Furthermore, the artists used their home, Los Angeles, as their inspiration, which I think was very relatable to me and many other people since it’s a place we all have been to. It was comfortable looking at the artworks and having debates with fellow classmates about what they seem to mean or who are they supposed to be in the artists’ lives. In conclusion, the exhibit brought many student, like myself, into a place of familiarity with the use of graffiti yet also mystery due to the questionable subjects the artists portrayed.

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