Week 4- Artist Conversation- Robert Nehemiah & Elmer Guevara

Artist(s): Robert Nehemiah & Elmer Guevara

Exhibition: Immaterial

Media: drawing, painting

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

Instagram: Robert: @wookiewarrior Elmer: @3lmski1


CSULB undergraduates Robert Nehemiah and Elmer Guevara are working toward their Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in the School of Art’s Drawing and Painting Program. They both plan to continue on with their Masters. Robert is from Pico Rivera while Elmer is from Los Angeles. Aside from working on their art, they both enjoy music and traveling. Both Robert and Elmer agreed to have taken a liking for art at a very young age. Both have been drawing since they were kids. They have always liked to draw or doodle.

This exhibition was a collaboration between two artists. Robert’s work was done on materials that were irregular, unique and not primed. The materials he painted on were not meant to last. Robert’s work was more direct. You could clearly see that he painted people of importance to him. Some examples of what Robert painted on were cardboard and pieces of wood. Elmer’s work was definitely more indirect. He said he took pictures of what he would paint before painting them. He puts a twist on his pieces. They aren’t exactly like the pictures he took. They have meaning behind each of them. Like Robert, Elmer’s pieces are of people also except they are homeless people. Elmer’s paintings were done on large canvases. The pieces done from both artists were all colorful and used paints.

Both Robert and Elmer’s idea was to showcase people that are overseen. Robert’s inspiration was materialism. He painted people that influenced his own philosophy. He believes that people are as temporary as the paintings and what they were painted on. For example, Robert painted his grandmother on a weak piece of cardboard, symbolizing her frailness. Robert found the materials to paint on before knowing what exactly he was going to paint. It was then that he realized their correlation to each other. Elmer painted homeless people. His inspiration was the city and streets of Los Angeles because that is where he was born and raised. He interviewed many homeless people and captured pictures of them. He got to know them before deciding how to portray them. For example, one of his pieces is of a man with many arms and it seems like a blurred image. Elmer explains that he painted this man blurry and with many arms because when he interviewed him, he noticed that the man kept moving a lot.

I actually really enjoyed Robert and Elmer’s exhibit. I really liked their idea of showcasing people that are overlooked. I think it’s important for people to realize that a lot of people aren’t cared for the same way other, more privileged people are or that some people do not get enough recognition for what they do. It was interesting to see their take on people and how they portray each of them. The paintings were well done. They were all really good. I liked Robert’s idea of painting on temporary surfaces. I thought it was very unique and clever. I enjoyed Elmer’s ideas as well. I liked that he took the time to interview and get to know many homeless people. It will show their audience that each of these people do have their own stories and there is more to them than just living on the streets.



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