Artist: Kelvin Lopez
Exhibition: New Places, New Energy 2016
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Dr. Maxine Merlino Gallery
Kelvin Lopez is an undergraduate student in the Printmaking BFA department at California State University Long Beach. He is originally from Oceanside, California and this is Kelvin’s second year in Long Beach as well as second year attending CSULB. He received an associate’s degree in Studio Art from Mira Costa Community College prior to coming to CSULB. Kelvin’s hobbies include listening to music and going to concerts, shows, and festivals like Coachella and Lightning in a Bottle. Currently, Kelvin is working towards identity and who he identifies himself as, which is what his whole show is about. Since he met his ex-girlfriend, he has become more spiritually conscious and this lead him to his current hobby of collecting crystals and stones. Kelvin states that with these crystals and stones, he “[utilizes] their healing properties and power.” As an artist, Kelvin tries to incorporate his beliefs and practices into his art, hence why many of his works revolve around crystals and their special properties. Captivated by the forms and structures of crystals, he was given a green onyx as a gift from Argentina and ended up researching it. He didn’t find much about the green onyx, but he read about a black onyx that was the number one stone for protection against dark energies. Kelvin had read that the black onyx was a mystic’s favorite to use for scrying, but he didn’t know what exactly scrying meant. So upon further researching, Kelvin turned his own interpretation of scrying via printmaking and art.
New Places, New Energy by Kelvin Lopez is a lithograph work. A lithograph is a type of printing process in which the artist uses pencils to draw images out on either a smooth stone tablet or metal plate. Next, the stone or plate will be coated with ink in which a paper will be pressed against the image drawn on the stone or plate. New Places, New Energy is a black and white image that was drawn and then transferred onto a lime stone. It was etched with gum arabic and nitric acid, which was then printed with oil ink and water on bfk paper. The texture I would assume is fairly smooth since it is only a printed image. The work’s background would likely be considered as sinuous since it seems to spiral and meet in the middle, while the rest of the work (meaning the hands and crystals) appears to be more still.
This work of art is, in simplest terms, about finding oneself. All of Kelvin’s work is currently following the theme of finding one’s identity. New Places, New Energy seems to be more of a positivity piece. It represents Kelvin’s transition from Oceanside, CA to Long Beach, CA. The background spirals from dark to light, possibly being a representation of one’s journey towards self-actualization as well as self-identification. The crystals contain healing properties and power, and the hands which hold them could very well be lost hands that utilize these crystals for their powers and seek truth with them. The crystal on the left represents the Oceanside Pier, which is the longest pier on the west coast. The middle crystal is an image of Kelvin and his dog. Finally, the crystal on the right is an image of the Long Beach City scape. Through his piece, Kelvin explores the idea of literally going to new places with new energy. These places may be promising, especially with the help of the crystals. Through his piece, Kelvin conveys transition and the exchange of old with new energy along along his life’s journey.
Kelvin’s New Places, New Energy, in particular, caught my eye. I found it intriguing how in each of his pieces, he incorporated crystals. The image made me ponder when I first saw it, but when I read the title, I was immediately drawn to this piece. Currently, at this point in my life, I feel as though I’m seeking new places and new energy. I want to steer my life in a better direction and only have around people who do want to help me grow into a better person. I want to seek adventure and find myself along the way. And my life is just that right now; I’m in such a good place with all the best people in my life. The background spiraling into an infinite circle to me represents life’s journey. Each spiral represents a path, and in the middle is utmost happiness with the result of finding who I am. Eventually, I’ll be where I was meant to be, with who I’m meant to be with, and doing what I should be doing.