By Jaivaun Dodge
Eric LoPresti, current New York City resident and artist, visited Youngstown State University Nov. 14 at the McDonough Museum of Art to present his artwork which showcases tested nuclear bombs and plant life.
LoPresti’s style is unique in how he makes his artwork come to life. He uses real photographs of nuclear test sites and clouds, and places watercolor over the areas he wants to emphasize.
He also creates his art on bigger canvases, so the viewer can be able to see every stroke of the brush.
Much of his artwork can be found in galleries across the nation, such as Colorado and even his own gallery in New York.
“I’m happy to give my perspective,” LoPresti said to those who gathered for the exhibit opening.
He said he was glad to have ideas that hopefully will engage and inspire students.
“Go big or go home,” LoPresti said, referring to his artwork. “Few things and topics bigger than nuclear weapons.”
He said how he felt a nuclear blast can be both terrifying and attractive in weird ways, and also described his work as juxtaposing two things which are complete opposites.
“Since no one sees these [nuclear] tests happen, I like to put my own spin on the colors of the blasts,” LoPresti said. “There’s what you see and then there is what is going on.”
He said he started incorporating flowers into his artwork because he sees a certain similarity between flowers and craters, and he emphasizes the pedals on the flowers with watercolor as if it were the crater itself.
Justin Lanzo, a junior engineering major at YSU, said he always had an interest in the nuclear topic while he viewed LoPresti’s work for the first time.
“It’s a very different style of art than what I’ve seen,” he said. “I’m no expert on art, but I feel I can tell when an artist is using a unique style.”
Lanzo said he thought it was different.
“I’ve never thought of someone doing art with these kind of photographs,” he said. “I don’t think I would’ve thought to look up art like this, but it’s entertaining to view.”
Luahi Mishmish, a junior respiratory therapy major, said that he never thought of flowers and nuclear items to be used to bring a creative image to life.
“I think more artists should take after LoPresti and use more natural elements in their work,” he said. “It’s nice to see people using the environment in their art, and I think LoPresti’s use watercolor is a great way to do so.”