For this week’s conversation with an artist, I had the honor to speak with the talented and creative David De Mendoza. He and another artist, named Vanessa Gamboa, collaborated together to make a show called “Disquieting.” Their show is held in the Max L. Gatov Gallery West.
When walking into the gallery, I was automatically intrigued. I saw bright colors on every painting, but instead of a whimsical and fun idea, horror would be portrayed. Each painting and sketch that David made contained fear that people would usually have, which ranged from clowns to spiders. and even a combination of both, like in his painting named “Deadlights.” Colors in the paintings, that would usually clash, managed to work nicely together, thus effortlessly making the fear portrayed stand out even more. Also, oil paints were used on David’s paintings, and made a smooth and clean texture on each piece.
David, who has one more year until graduating from CSULB, said his inspiration for his pieces are the horror movies he has seen throughout the years, with his favorite film being the Shining. The paintings were based off of recognizable fears that manifested into real life, but show different approaches to it, like his painting “Last Lullaby” which was based off of the fear of the sandman. Besides majoring in painting at CSULB, David also is majoring in drawing, since he originally was into pen work. He only started to paint three years ago, and was able to gather inspiration for his paintings through the sketches he made about two years ago, that are also showcased in the gallery. An overall theme of fear is portrayed in the gallery, with Vanessa’s paintings being about psychological fear, and David’s works being about physical fear.
Personally, I love to watch horror movies. I will admit that I do get scared after watching them, but the thrill of something making me jump out of my seat is exciting. Like Vanessa’s pieces, I do believe that fear is only in the mind. We end up becoming scared of something when we think it is scary, and if we do not think something is scary, then we, in general, do not fear it. But, as for the ideas portrayed in David’s pieces, I know too many people that are scared of spiders and clowns, and if encountered with these fears, would imagine/see these normal things in a super exaggerated way.
Overall, I really enjoyed the pieces David and Vanessa showed in their show “Disquieting.” I love the exploration into fear, and the fact that people can feel about anything. I hope to see more work from David in the future.
To see more of David’s work and works in progress check out his instagram: demendizzle