When you step into the Max L. Gatov Gallery West you step into a room full of nightmares. Seven different paintings hang on the wall and depict creepy depictions of fear. David De Mendoza (https://www.facebook.com/david.demendoza.9?fref=ts), finishing his last year at CSULB with a major in art, collaborated with Vanessa Gamboa to create a gallery filled with intense paintings. The show is called Disquieting. All of the paintings leave you with an frightening feeling that will leave haunt you the rest of the day.
De Mendoza has always had an appreciation for horror films. He began watching horror films at a young age, which helped his appreciation grow and eventually he did not fear them anymore. His favorite film is The Shinning. That is why he enjoyed this project, it allowed him to create something “creepy” and “cool”. All of the paintings follow the theme of fear. Both De Mendoza and Gamboa came up with the idea to base their pieces off of fear; however Gamboa took a psychological take on fear where she depicts the female form in artificial and psychological surreal environment. De Mendoza took the recognizable human form and changed the features to create monstrous deities that represent the things that torment a persons soul.
It took De Mendoza all summer to create three of the paintings. De Mendoza began painting three years ago after spending most of his time dong pen work. He switched to painting because it was something he felt he was not good at so he wanted the challenge. When De Mendoza is painting he is in his comfort zone and uses art as a way to express himself. He chose to be an artist after numerous people told him he was talented. He agreed with what they said and decided to pursue his career in art.
De Mendoza’s favorite piece is the “creepy baby” piece titled The Unfathomable Indisposition of Eros which depicts numerous baby heads with a heart and skulls surrounding it. This was his favorite piece because it was the most challenging. The picture represents his fear of intimacy and being love sick.
I really enjoyed this gallery. I walked around and saw different fears that attach themselves to people. By giving fears a human manifestation it makes fears themselves seem more intimidating. This part was enjoyable because it created a sense that I was looking my fears in the eyes and by walking away from each painting I felt as if I conquered my fear. This was one of my favorite art galleries because it shows how an artist can use painting to escape from their reality and get more out of their struggles.