Artist: La Rosa
Exhibition: La Rosa
Media: acrylic, watercolor, spray paint, fire burning, candlewax, cassette tapes, nails
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Dutzi Gallery
Hey everyone, this week I had the honor of interviewing an artist to whose art, I felt deeply in my soul. His name is La Rosa.
About the Artist
Growing up, La Rosa spent the academic season up in Fresno, California, but would always come down to Los Angeles to spend the summertime with his family. He always grew up drawing and taking art classes. At the moment La Rosa is a student here at CSULB’s School of Art and is in his junior year working towards a BA in studio art. He had originally come to CSULB for business and fashion merchandising, but he never felt truly happy until he switched over to art.
Yes, I’ve been painting my entire life and I love it. It makes my happy. I’m always painting in my free time.
La Rosa’s art likes to cover many themes and subjects that go along with all his different interests. He claims that he listens to “music way too much” and that it’s all mostly indie bands that no one has ever heard of. His more notable tastes, however, cover those of bands like the Arctic Monkeys, the White Stripes, the Neighborhood, 1975, and Joy Division. He also says that he enjoys 90’s movies like “The Breakfast Club” and “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”
La Rosa is an artist that we could describe as anything but formal. He loves exploring and experimenting with different types of media, and you can tell as no two pieces are ever so supremely alike. His go to medium is acrylic on canvas because he knows the exact nature of how it works. However, that doesn’t prohibit him from using other things like watercolor, spray paints, inks, and even including more industrial materials like nails, hammers, and candle wax. He mixes traditional mediums, with modern materials in every piece.
"I like to call myself more of a street artist because I’m pretty unorthodox when it comes to being a traditional artist. I don’t think a clean cardstock has as much character as some tape with my penship on them. I always thought the cardstock to be too boring. I got in trouble for not using cardstock and for “breaking the rules” by using tape. But art should have no limitations. Art is meant to break rules."
La Rosa’s styles are so diverse, and this exhibit ties them all in together in different ways. His art is driven by the nature of human emotion, the interpretation of beauty, and the perspective of youth. He tries to convey through many of his pieces love, rebellion, hope, and heartbreak. When I told him that his pieces seemed really destructive he said that they were unintentionally that way as of lately. Nevertheless, he says that the destruction aspect could only mean that of broken love.
Take his art piece with the white rose on the blue canvas as an example. The blue canvas is moving, like water. The white rose, so distinct, and alone, amongst the blurriness of the background, stands for love and longing. While the quote at the bottom of the painting only makes the emotions that the painting is trying to convey even clearer. “Her heart sank the moment she realized, at last, how much she wanted him.” It’s the implication of a longing for someone who might not love you back. In other words, an unrequited love.
Now, look at Waldeinsamekeit. It’s a piece so different in style to that of the white rose, but it means the same thing. The lack of vibrancy in the piece gives it a more melancholic feel. The sun setting behind the mountains lets us know that it’ll be dark soon and that something is coming to an end. More importantly, there is a literal hole in the center of the painting that could signify that something is missing from someone’s life, soul, and heart. For what that is, we don’t know. Even the name of the piece, Waldeinsamekeit, which seemed so strange at first, but when I looked it up later made, even more, sense. Waldeinsamekeit is made up of the german words for forest and solitude. What better name for a piece that could show you just what it’s like to feel alone, to feel unloved, and all while being in love.
You guys I seriously do not know how to tell you exactly what I felt when I saw this exhibit. I have never in my life related so much to a painting on a wall, much less have been able to feel for all the pieces La Rosa made. With every single one that I saw, a part of me was moved on the inside. Distoria, which is one of La Rosa’s more abstract paintings, moved me to the point of chaotic calmness, and that in itself is contradictory all on it’s own. The way the shapes clash and cut into each other is so crazy. However, the colors he uses: the aquamarine blue and teals paired with coral, mint, royal purple, and sunset yellows and oranges, make me feel as if I am on a beach relaxing on a summer day. That was just the abstract piece though, I could write you essays on how the other pieces made me feel.
The centerpiece he includes for the room was marvelous to no end, and when he told me it was his personal easel the significance grew even more. To it, he had nailed letters he had written, quotes he liked, pictures he had drawn, and so on and so forth. It was a wooden easel, and you could tell he used it a lot because it was worn down and painted with all the colors he had used throughout all his work. It was like a finishing piece to bring back the whole story full circle and let us in on the emotion the painter himself had while trying to make everything he had done. It showed his love for his art, his passion for what he did, and it showed that he had given himself up to the mercy of the art he had produced.
I really cannot tell you as much but that you must see his work.