By Lupe Duran |Staff Writer|
No one knows for sure what the future has in store for us. In situations where we have our hearts set on something, we think we know what career path we’re going to pursue, until an unexpected turn of events lead us to discover a new passion.
Student Efrain Torres has always had a lingering relationship with art as his grandmother had him participate in art shows while growing up.
Torres’ original love was dance and music, but after suffering an injury from which recovery would take too long he found comfort in another form of expression and chose to major in Studio Art.
“One day after I got injured I went to an art store bought a canvas and some paint, then next thing you know something just clicked,” Torres said when explaining how he discovered his new passion.
Dance and music haven’t completely lost their influence on Torres, as he explains that, “The way the body moves transfers into the movement of his brush.”
Inspired by contemporary art mainly from the 70s, 80s and 90s, Torres has completed close to 40 pieces in which he expresses his outlook on life, claiming that the canvas is like his journal and that expression is easier through painting than through words.
While words are generally easier to get a uniform interpretation, the interpretation of art is usually dependent on the eye of the beholder.
Torres admits when he says he doesn’t expect people to get the correct interpretation because of his paintings’ composition.
Torres’ paintings feature the use of geometric shapes— a method he says was inspired by shows of the early 90s like Saved by the Bell, where shapes were a big thing.
In the past three years Torres’ work has been featured in approximately 20 art exhibitions with five of those taking place here at CSUSB.
“Two years ago I received a Purchase award when the Santos Manuel Student Union bought one of my paintings,” said Torres.
The painting titled, “I’m Gay,” is a small print and can be seen when entering from the south side of the Santos Manuel Student Union.
Torres revealed that some of his big influences include artist Chris Trueman, who currently teaches painting at Fullerton Community College as well as CSUSB’s professor of art Brad Spence, whose work drew Torres to CSUSB.
“I wasn’t really looking into Cal State San Bernardino,” said Torres, “one of my community college professors told me to look into Brad Spence’s work and I instantly became a fan of his work.”
Although there are many other forms of art out there, Torres said that the only other art he may consider is music, but that visual art, specifically painting remains his core interest.
Currently, Torres is a copier at Office Max but in the future would like to pursue a Master’s in Studio Art and eventually teach at college level.
When looking at Torres’ pieces you can feel his talent jumping off of the canvas giving you the feeling that this comes so naturally to him, but in reality Torres admits to some occasional mental block.
“If you hit a wall, step away from your art, step away from your canvas, step away from your clay,” said Torres, “you need to experience life to have something to put into making your art.”
Torres is a perfect example that the old saying, “Nothing’s set in stone,” is true after life made him realize that dance and music weren’t his only passions allowing painting to take over.