Color Theory and Its ‘Colorful’ Artist


Mayra Figueroa Vazquez

Student Taylor McCabe showcases her art with fellow local artist as a part of “Color Theory Club.” Photo Credit: Mayra Figueroa Vazquez.

Mayra Figueroa Vazquez, News Editor

          Young local musicians, poets, artists and photographers came together on Feb. 23 to showcase their work at the Sandbox studio in Downtown San Diego at an exhibition hosted by “Color Theory Club”. Amongst those artist was San Diego Mesa College student Taylor McCabe.

          For this show, McCabe exhibited a painting that was completely different then her usual work of portraits saying, “I wanted to try [and do] inanimate objects rather than simply animate.” She further elaborated adding that her work tends to consist of a “very complicated face” which is her way of showing emotion in her art. This time she went a completely different route to challenged herself and her abilities as an artist. She said “I wanted to see if I could do the same thing without having an expression.”

          McCabe describe the emotion of her painting as “peace.” She made this piece at a moment when she was feeling “weird” and painting this is how she got rid of that emotion. “I guess the feeling that comes out of feeling bad is piece.” To compliment her painting she displayed a quote across the top stating that “the hardest thing to do when you’ve gone back underwater, is talk about what the sky was like.”

          The exhibition was curated by Victoria Martinez, founder of “Color Theory Club,” and Gabriel Lozano. Martinez’s inspiration behind “Color Theory Club” was her inability to differentiate in the variation of every color. She stated that this uniqueness in her eyesight hasn’t stopped her from making art in any way, she said “it sounds like a negative thing and you would think that it would negatively impact the way I see things but it actually enhances my sight.” Since making that discovery, Martinez has always been fascinated by color and the theory behind it, hence “Color Theory.” In respect to creating  the club she said “I wanted it to feel like a community, multiple people [coming] together.’’ Martinez’s vision came to life that night as there were over thirty artist who took part in the exhibition.

          Both Martinez and Lozano has art showcasing in the show. Lozano’s painting was inspired by his recent trip to Florence, Italy with his family. The piece illustrates two distorted figures, one more than the other, sitting across a table from one another in what appears to be two different settings or “mindsets,” according to the artist, but what the viewer is unaware of is that it’s actually the same person. The figure on the left has an exit wound from a bullet which Lozano added to depict “the thoughts on himself and how he can’t even consider himself human, [which] is why he looks like a monster.”

          Keeping in mind the idea of “the viewer looking in,” Lozano also incorporated the use of color to emphasize the mood in each setting. Using bright and harsh tones in half the painting to contrast the soft pastels on the other side, making it easy to differentiate between each mindset. He said, “you’re going to look in the mirror and you’re going to [think], ‘well that part seems normal,’ but the actual reality of the setting isn’t normal.” The idea behind it was to show that  the two figures are having a conversation. Lozano explained, “the colors are different, the mood is different, there’s two figures and they are both distorted.”

          Lozano credits his girlfriend, fellow artist Victoria Martinez, for inspiring him to take the next step in his artistic abilities. He said, “I’ve always had this type of creative feeling, creative direction to be different and stray away from other,” but ultimately Martinez gave him the final push to pursue art. Lozano and Martinez showcased their work side by side. Martinez’s painting featured a portrait of Lozano with some if his thoughts at the top.

          Martinez recalls wanting to be an artist ever since she can remember. She mentioned that she found herself spending a lot of time indoors due to her overprotective mother who refused to let her play outside “with the other dirty kids” as she would say and tried to raise her to be a “highly elevated person.” Martinez explained, “I feel [that] the way my mind is set and almost formulated [comes] a lot from things she would tell me when I was little.” All that time playing in her room, Martinez began drawing and painting, eventually expanding into film, photography and now recently sculpting.

          Her dream of becoming an artist was always encouraged but those in her life, until the end of high school, an age where she recalls things becoming real. She had people telling her all sorts of negative things like, “you can’t make a living out of art,” “you’re gonna starve to death,” or “art isn’t a career,” but she never let it get to her. “It’s not like I’m creating anything new,” she said, “there are thousands of artist who have created things and have made a living out of it.”

          She explained her befuddlement for people giving up their dream of being an artist due to over baring obstacles saying “a lot of people almost victimize themselves like ‘oh my gosh! this is going on and this is going on,’ and we’ve all heard ‘oh I had kids and had to give up’ and it’s crazy because that’s not true. Martinez concluded by saying “I truly believe life is what you make out of it. You are in control entirely. If you are walking in a certain direction you are bound to get there.” She also read some of her poetry in the show.

          Artist Avia Rose, studio arts major at San Diego State University, showcased a nude self portrait in front of a sheep. She was inspired by the emotion of vulnerability and says “I think we are all sheep with our guts out.” Her oil paint based portrait was purchased my her professor.

          Besides paintings and photography, musicians and poets took the stage to deliver work of similar themes ranging from love to politics. Local band “Hand Drawn Tree” preformed a thirty minute set including their single “Mechanical Love.” Lead singer and guitarist, Hector Quintero, described their sound as “jango pop rock.” Quintero also performed some poems and showcased some of his art, a real triple threat.

          Among the performers was  acoustic guitarist RJ who delighted the audience with the soulful sounds of New Age Acoustics, or as he refers to it as “Fairy Pop.” He is a self taught musician who first showed interest in guitar playing  when he saw a video of Andy Mckee, a finger-style guitarist. RJ performed his favorite song called “Honey Boney,” leaving the audience asking for an encore. Poet/rapper A.2.Z performed a number of poems, one he classified as being “for that one person,” which he went on to further elaborated as a person who you love but you know the relationship isn’t good for you. He also expressed his political views in his writing by stating, “politics more like pile of sh*t.”