Artist: Kelvin Lopez
Exhibition: Scry Baby
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Dr. Maxine Merlino Gallery
Kelvin Lopez is an undergraduate student at CSULB and is currently in the School of Art’s Printmaking Program. He is working towards his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, and plans to apply for graduate school and continue studying after graduating from CSULB. Mr. Lopez is originally from San Diego, where he attended a local community college and obtained his Associate’s Degree before transferring to CSULB. When he is not creating art, Mr. Lopez enjoys riding bikes with his two beloved dogs, a purebred Siberian Husky and a German Shepherd mix, and spending as much time as he can with friends. He also takes pleasure in consuming beer, going to bars, and trying new beers at various breweries. Additionally, Mr. Lopez enjoys listening to music and going to different concerts and shows. He also likes to attend various music festivals such as Coachella, Symbiosis, and Lightning in a Bottle because it provides him the opportunity to meet other individuals with similar beliefs and hobbies. Furthermore, Mr. Lopez has a keen interest for researching and collecting crystals, which are the basis for his latest exhibition Scry Baby. He was introduced to crystals by an ex-girlfriend, and his interest grew when one of his professors from his community college brought him a green onyx crystal from Argentina. He utilizes the spirituality of the crystals both in his everyday life and in creating his ideas for his artwork.
The majority of Mr. Lopez’s artwork revolved around crystals and images of himself as a child and his nephews. He layered his artwork so that it appears as if the images are being viewed within the crystal. Mr. Lopez was inspired to create this see-through visual style by the act of scrying, which is foretelling or foreseeing the future using a crystal. Each artwork incorporated unique crystal shapes and colors as a window to view the equally colorful images of himself as a child. The overall artwork was jagged in appearance to further enhance the concept of crystals; however, no two artworks were similar in shape, ruggedness, or color to display the individuality of each crystal. In addition, the majority of each piece was taken up by the outline of the crystal and a watercolor pattern as a background. Each work of art was also in a thin black frame to prevent drawing attention to the frame instead of the work itself.
In all of Mr. Lopez’s works, the underlying message seems to reflect the action of scrying. Mr. Lopez stated that after he received the green onyx crystal from his professor, he researched it and discovered that the green onyx was often used by mystics to perform acts of scrying. He researched what scrying was and discovered that it is a form of foretelling and foreseeing the future. This concept of scrying is eventually what inspired his current exhibition; however, while he was inspired by the idea of scrying, he did add his own touches while conveying the message. The main difference that is noted in his artwork is that his depiction of scrying is used to view the past, specifically, Mr. Lopez’s past. Mr. Lopez stated that the crystals depicted in his pieces serve as gateways into his past and childhood. Through printmaking, he has been able to make two-dimensional images out of the three-dimensional objects in his life, such as the crystals and the memories of his childhood. Mr. Lopez views his artwork as a way of practicing both printmaking and his spirituality.
When I initially read the name of the exhibition, I thought I would be walking into a gallery filled with dark and distorted pieces of art that were meant to evoke terror. However, when I saw the first artwork, Baby Trip, I was greeted by thoughts and feelings completely opposite to that of what the name may imply, but I was not sure what those thoughts or feelings were. It was not until I had made my way around the gallery that I was able to identify what I was feeling: nostalgia. These beautiful pieces of art had evoked feelings of nostalgia out of me and even had me reminiscing about my own past; I could not help but think about my own childhood and my family. I really appreciated the idea of using crystals as a window into the past. It is such a simple concept, but it speaks volumes. I also enjoyed the colors used in Mr. Lopez’s works because they seemed to represent good memories. The combination of the crystals, the colors, and the images of Mr. Lopez from his childhood made me think about better times in my life; how, as a child, everything was easier and simpler, and the only real stress in life was how much time you would have to go outside and play. It even made me think about how much easier life was in high school, where the academic work was easier and you could spend seemingly countless hours hanging out with friends. Furthermore, I was able to connect my own family with Mr. Lopez’s awe-inspiring works of art. At the end of the day, my family is what is most important to me. And within those very same crystals on the wall, I was able to see all of my family and the beautiful and stress-free futures I had planned for all of them; in a sense, I was scrying and it was a breath-taking experience.
All things considered, Mr. Kelvin Lopez’s work is amazingly beautiful and intricate in design. It has a variety of crystal shapes and colors that capture attention, while at the same time, can evoke warm feelings of nostalgia. The concept of scrying is magnificently depicted, with Mr. Lopez’s personal spin on scrying gracefully complementing his printmaking skills. Overall, I felt that this was a great exhibition, and an even better experience.