Artist: Ralph Acosta
Exhibition: RELAX: REIMAGINING LOS ANGELES INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
Media: Typography, Graphic Design
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Marilyn Werby Gallery
About Ralph Acosta
Ralph Acosta is a graduate student here at California State University Long Beach. Ralph recently graduated as a graphic design major. When asked about his inspiration for his exhibition, Ralph explained that as a child, going to the airport with his family would be a big event. Having to dress up nicely to send family off or pick them up from their journey. Ralph described this event as fun and romantic. Inspired by his childhood memories, Ralph decided to come up with a project to liven up the atmosphere of today’s airport experience; focusing on LAX in particular.
The exhibit display by Ralph was a unique one. Unlike other art exhibit where art pieces are displayed, Ralph’s exhibit portrayed LAX airport as a whole. Once you walked into the exhibit, you see a projection screen on one wall with a vintage video footage of LAX. Along with this were typography displays on the wall. Each typography was unique because they were made by artist Ralph Acosta. Ralph stated that he analyzed each geometric shape from well known landscapes of LAX such as the run way shape to the airplane windows and created a grid system out of it. Using this grid system, Ralph created his own font. In which he called it “Runway Gothic Medium.” Using this font, Ralph created different display signs to brighten up and recreate the environment of the atmosphere.
Based on my interpretation of this exhibition, I can see that the artist was completely absorbed into the idea and thought process of this concept. I really enjoyed listening to the artist talk about his exhibit because he was wholeheartedly describing his exhibition with such an interest. The artist talked about how he really liked going to the airport as a child because of all of the good memories created there. Along with that, he also really like the lively and romantic atmosphere. Wanting to bring this back, Ralph created a grid system to redesign the interior of LAX to create a more lively atmosphere where people would not focus on rushing in and out of the airport, but rather slow down and take there time to appreciate what the airport has to offer. Along with his typography design, Ralph explained that the colors that he chose for the exhibit also had meaning behind it. With orange representing SoCal and Orange County, and blue representing the famous oceans of California, Ralph was inspired o create a retro 60s vibe.
My overall experience with this exhibit was very different from the other galleries that I visited. When I first walked into the exhibit, I did not really see anything that was eye opening or that really caught my attention. Sure, there was a video display and there were typography displays, but I did not have an interest in the exhibit. However, as I spent more time in the exhibit, noticed how throughout the exhibit there was a lot of similarities in the displays. I thought to myself, “How could someone take something as ordinary as an airport and make it into an exhibit like this?” Realizing this, I decided to interview the artist and ask him a few questions about his exhibit.
After the interview, my viewpoint on this exhibit changed drastically. I realized that this exhibition was more than just one about LAX airport, but it was a story. After getting to know more about Ralph and his exhibit, I began to like the exhibit more and more. By the end of the interview, the exhibit really appealed to me and I really liked the focus and his emphasis oh the exhibit as a whole.