Week 4: Artist Conversation – Robert Nehemiah and Elmer Guevara

Exhibition Information

Artist: Robert Nehemiah and Elmer Guevara

Exhibition: Immaterial

Media: Drawing and Painting

Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Max L. Gatov Gallery West

Instagram: Robert Nehemiah and Elmer Guevara

Robert Nehemiah and Elmer Guevara are both undergraduate students working towards their BFA degree in the CSULB’s School of Art Drawing and Painting program. I was unable to get in contact with Guevara, however, I had the opportunity of speaking to Nehemiah and learning more about his artwork and the inspiration behind it. Other than drawing and painting, Nehemiah has an interest in psychology, social constructs, and music. As a young kid, he had a passion for art and always drew and was also interested in the visual arts. He states, “I even gave up a career in fire technology as I was hoping to become a firefighter.”

Former Analysis: “Portrait of a Mother” is the title of one of Nehemiah’s artwork. It is an oil based painting on unprimed metal. This piece amongst his other pieces were very unique. The metal was jagged and seemed as if it was a little bit rusty on the edges and certain areas were bent. In the portrait, his mother had her hair up, wearing dangling earrings and a black blouse.

Another painting by Nehemiah that caught my interest was “Portrait of a Grandmother.” This is also an oil based painting, but it is on an unprimed cardboard. Some areas of the cardboard were torn, adding a different kind of style to his artwork. His grandmother wore what seems like a shawl and she had her hand rested near her collarbone.

Content Analysis: Nehemiah’s work are based on conversations. He bridges his own views on history, traditional aspect of art, accepting eurocentricity and taking it as his own, despite its distance from his own ethnic culture. Some inspiration behind his work include traditional painting, contemporary approaches and aspects.

Nehemiah says he prefers found materials than traditional media, however, he appreciates observational aspects of drawing and painting so he uses traditional mediums. When creating some of his work. he thinks about how to present himself and what he wants to convey to his viewers. He states, “It’s a conversation even among myself, because we are always changing.”

My Experience: It was one of a kind experience to be able to see these unique paintings. I am once again amazed by the creativity and effort artists put into their artwork. Each piece of painting has a different meaning to those who see it and to the painter himself.

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Art by Robert Nehemiah:

Art by Elmer Guevara:

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