On September 17, 2015, Disquieting, by David De Mendoza and Vanessa Gamboa, was on display in the Max L Gatov Gallery West of California State University, Long Beach. These beautiful, bright paintings were made with oil paints on canvas, taking anywhere from a day to a few months to complete. Mendoza’s pen work was also on display, capturing his paintings from their original sketches. Both artists chose to collab their work since they had different perspectives. While Gamboa took the subject on psychologically, Mendoza took it on more directly.
Mendoza found inspiration in horror books and “spooky stuff”, as he calls it, to create these terrifyingly beautiful canvases. The paintings have no personal significance to him, he just enjoys being in his comfort zone, making “creepily cool looking paintings” based on manifested deities of fears. The goal was to put these ideas of fears into a physical form, allowing the viewer to actually see these “fears” right in front of them. For example, the painting below, #7 Last Lullaby, is a representation of nightmares focused on a wicked sandman.
Personally, I take these paintings on from a more psychological level. I find them to be phycadellic, in a sense, the very images your imagination creates. I remember my nightmares like they’re something I can touch, but these works make them stuck in the borders of the canvas. I can run my fingers over the phases but I can’t get back to the places they were. Nightmares can be a terrifying psychological experience, yet these canvases keep them in the past, a product of the imagination.