Artist: Ralph Acosta
Exhibition: RELAX, Digital Color Prints
Media: Digital color prints, video film, photography
Gallery: Marilyn Werby Gallery
Website: Has a Facebook, but not sure if I’m allowed to disclose.
About the Artist
Ralph Acosta is an art student that attends California State University Long Beach. He is currently working on his Masters of Fine Arts in Graphic Design. He previously attended CSULB years ago and eventually graduated with his Bachelors. He then went on to work some amount of years at a branding firm in San Diego until he decided he wanted to further his education, thus starting his Masters. He said he always knew he wanted to study graphic design, and chose CSULB because it has one of the best programs in the west. After getting his Masters, he says he wants to get into freelance work.
Ralph lived and grew up in Los Angeles in the 1970’s, which inspired him to create this exhibition called RELAX.
Ralph Acosta created several pieces for his exhibition. Many of them were digital color prints and photography, but it also included a video film. The exhibition was based around the airport in Los Angeles called LAX. The specific piece I will be talking about of his is called Digital Color Prints. This piece was a photography piece that showed designs and ideas for new and improved LAX signs. It portrayed departure signs, arrivals signs, and gate signs. They seem to be photographs with edited silhouettes of people placed into the photo, along with signs. The signs were in color and everything else was in black and white.
Ralph said he was inspired by his life of growing up in Los Angeles. He said when he was young (in the 1970’s) people would go to the airport for a day of fun, kind of like going to the mall. It was totally different back then and there was very little security so it was easy to explore and go wherever you wanted. He wanted to create concepts that would make LAX have a more pleasant and entertaining atmosphere like it used to, as opposed to know which is very bland and almost threatening with all the security. He aimed at portraying the architecture and geometry of LAX, and also the topography.
Synthesis / My Experience
I found the work very interesting and thought it would be a good idea to implement ideas similar to Ralph’s. I’ve flown into and out of LAX a few times in my life, and every time it seemed very bland. Everything is shades of grey and Ralph’s colorful sign concepts would definitely brighten up the place. Not only that, but airports (especially large ones like LAX) have a similar atmosphere to that of a DMV. People are only there because they have to be and want to get through it was quick as possible. There are several lines and lots of waiting. On top of that, airports can be very difficult to find your way through. Ralph Acosta’s concepts are very bright and attention-catching. I also found the shapes and geometry of the pieces to be easy on the eyes (e.g. the overlapping rectangular shapes in the last piece). I also thought the white silhouettes were cool. In the photographs are black and white photos of a modern, generic airport, but then there are also the silhouettes and signs added. They both work together to create another “world” within the photo. A world where Ralph Acosta’s concepts are a reality and actually being used by the airport. On one hand you have a black and white photograph of people at an airport, and in the other you have a lively person using colored signs to located their way around the airport.