Wk. 4: Artist Conversation- Elmer Guevara and Robert Nehemiah 

Artist: Elmer Guevara and Robert Nehemiah

Exhibition: “Immaterial”

Media:  drawing and painting, canvas, metal, wood, cardboard, trap, oil

Gallery: Gallery Max L.Gatov Gallery West

Website: – no websites

Instagram: @3lmski1 @wookieewarrior


Elmer Guevara and Robert Nehemiah are seniors here at CSULB. Both are majoring  towards their first BFA in Drawing and Painting. Elmer Guevara transferred to Cal State Long Beach from East Los Angeles City college and Robert Nehemiah also transferred from Riohondo City college. Each artist grew up with art at an early age. For Guevara it began with graffiti that he explored with his cousins and friends. At a young age  he knew he wanted to peruse art and once he came to Cal State Long Beach he diecied to make his envision come true by studying art. As for Nehemiah art was not his first option his plan was to become a firefighter. Before he came to CSULB he was already enscribed into the academy and was ready to begin the journey in the hopes of becoming a firefighter. However, he knew that he had a passion for art from a very young age and decided to leave the academy and peruse his dream. This is the first time that these two artists collaborate with one another. There exhibition titled “Immaterial” is meant to challenge the artists to use materials that very scares and irrelevant to their form of work. Nehemiah explains how this gallery was meant to help him break away from being materialistic and helping shed light on the materials that we tend to forget about and making them useful.


Nehemiah and Guevara each have a different style of painting. Nehemiah explained how, ” my work is more traditional for this gallery and Elmer’s is abstract new school.” Guevara went into details explaining how he gathered his inspiration for this specific gallery. The main objective and center people in his canvases were homeless individuals. Guevara conduced  a series of interviews of homeless individuals in Los Angeles, California. Guevara explained how he first began by photographing the person and later would build a relationship with the individual and based off the conversation it would relate to what the canvas would include. The canvases he explained are collages and the composition is very important to him. This is why he tries to get to know the person he is painting to help better represent the persons story. For example, in his work titled “Greg” there is an atmosphere of Los Angeles in the work. Also there is aspects of Greg’s  life like the violin and the various street names. As for Nehemiah he uses unprimed canvases and as he began painting he found a relationship with the person and canvas. Nehemiah took the immaterial approach by using canvasses that are very untraditional. Each canvas was unprimed and each person that he painted holds a significant value in his life. For example, in the work titled, “Portrait of a Grandmother” Nehemiah uses cardboard as his canvas and finds that it resonates with his grandmother in the way that the cardboard is much more fragile to work with and the material isn’t as durable meaning it won’t last as long. Overall, the artists exhibition proved to show the many struggles in Los Angeles and those who matter in our lives through the use of the “immaterial” approach.


For both artist Nehemiah and Guevara this exhibition helped to better explain the “immaterial” approach to art. Each artist  had a different way of explaining it but did prove to show it in their work by having Nehemiah use scares products and Guevara showing what it is like to live the “immaterial” way of life in Los Angeles. These artists will grow immensely because they break the rules of traditional drawing and painting. Their ideas of targeting the social problems in L.A. resonates with much of American. Also it was great getting to know their interests for Guevara he enjoys traveling he’s been to Peru, Europe and South America. As for Nehemiah he enjoys playing his guitar and playing music. After they graduate with their BFA in Drawing and Painting both artist plan to continue their work. Nehemiah plans to expand his work in narrative art work with the use of scrap materials and learning to make them function and Guevara plans to get his masters and continue his passion for art making in figurative work.


This has been my favorite gallery viewing by far. Not only because both artists work is so beautifully painted but because the story behind the canvas that each artist created is very empowering. Guevara touches on the topic of social problems in L.A. and Nehemiah explains the power and beauty of each empowering figure in his life. My favorite piece was by Nehemiah is titled, ” Portrait of a Mother” because as he said the material relates with the person painted. Nehemiah used metal and I related it to my mom and how she’s strong and holds this shield to protect our family. Both artist were very kind and knowledgeable of their work.  Overall, I enjoyed seeing the differences in each of the artists work and how they proved to show the beauty of the people surrounding us  through the use of the immaterial approach.

Check out the artists work on Instagram

Elmer Guevara: @3lmski1

Robert Nehemiah: @wookieewarrior

“Greg” oil on canvas – Elmer Guevara

“Portrait of a Mentor” -oil unprimed wood – Robert Nehemiah

“Self Portrait” -oil on unprimed trap- Robert Nehemiah

“Nikolai” – oil on canvas- Elmer Guevara

“Portrait of a Grandmother” – oil on unprimed cardboard- Robert Nehemiah

“Lala” – oil on canvas- Elmer Guevara

“Portrait of a Mother”-oil on unprimed metal – Robert Nehemiah

“Carlos” -oil on canvas- Elmer Guevara


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