Week 5 – Artist Conversation – Ralph Acosta

 Exhibition Information

Artist: Ralph Acosta
Exhibition: RELAX: Reimagining Los Angeles International Airport
Media: Photography, Typography, Videography
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Marilyn Werby Gallery
Website: Currently working on it. Facebook.com/
Instagram: None

Ralph Acosta brought his passion for all things travel and airport to life in his MFA thesis exhibit. Ralph first started his educational career about twenty years ago when he first got his degree in Studio Art at California State University. He recently graduated from the Masters of Fine Art’s program in Graphic Design. To Ralph’s disbelief the hardest part about earning his MFA was in his first semester back at CSULB because he had to create art in a more modern way which allowed him to become more open minded. While doing his undergrad, he was taught to approach art in a certain number of ways, but once he got the hang of creating art with a more modern approach he broadened his skills.

Ralph Acosta’s exhibit included a mobile application, a video, typography and several photographs. His mobile application, Observa, was intended for those who love planes and coincidentally are traveling. It allows you to track your flight, check arrival time, and see the type of plane you will be boarding. He is currently working on refining the application, improving the design interface, and searching for a coder who could help him improve the app with such things. The typography that was included was interesting and showed the design flaws that many interior designers encounter. While drafting and creating the font, Ralph thought about the color schemes and the aesthetics of the font. He chose the color blue because it reminds him of the sky and the ocean which are commonly seen while flying on a plane. The orange color seemed to pop out to him and is readable in contrast to the blue. He mentioned that he was hoping to edit the font due to the huge gap in the spacing. Ralph did not account for the flaw while printing and displaying the font. Many of his fellow peers along with his professors had advised him to send his work over to LAX in hopes that they would use his designs in the airport, but he is still refining all of his pieces and will send it once he feels they have been perfected.

I can honestly say that Ralph Acosta’s exhibit has been my favorite this semester. I am currently a fourth year Civil Engineering student who is interested in specializing in airport engineering/design. As a child, I too was fascinated in airports and loved flying on planes to visit my family and loved ones in Mexico. I always associated airports with a sense of wonder and adventure. A place that allows a person to leave the life they’re currently living and take a break or be someone else in a new city even if it’s just for a couple of days. My viewpoint and passion for airports may be from a more technical stance due to my studies, so seeing the design and aesthetic part of the airport has made me more passionate about them, as a whole. I’m able to see the process that goes for designing the interior of a space rather than focusing on just the exterior and being able to give all those who travel through it’s walls the comfort and sense of wonder that I was once able to feel as a child.


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