WK5 – Artist Conversation – Ralph Acosta

Artist: Ralph Acosta

Exhibition: RELAX: Reimagining Los Angeles International Airport

Media: Mixed Media 

Gallery: Marilyn Werby Gallery

Website: https://www.facebook.com/ralph.acosta.50

Instagram: N/A


Reimagining Los Angeles International Airport (RELAX) was located at the Marilyn Werby Gallery in Cal State Long Beach. The RELAX exhibit was created for Ralph Acosta’s MFA thesis exhibition. RELAX showcased different forms of art that was created with a variety of mediums, including: typography, a video on a loop, numerous photographs, and a mobile app. This exhibit is centered on creating a novel experience for travelers and eliminating the wearisome experience currently found in LAX.


Ralph Acosta utilizes his passions and artistic ability to create his art exhibit, RELAX. Ralph Acosta graduating from Cal State Long Beach twenty years ago with a General Art Studio degree. After, he graduated from CSULB Ralph moved to San Diego and a few years later decided to enroll back into school. Ralph Acosta recently graduated from Cal State Long Beach’s Masters Fine Arts program in design. Ralph Acosta noted the differences found between his undergrad and graduate programs, mentioning the difficulty to approach art in “modern” and “abstract” manner when in graduate school. His first semester back was difficult because some of his assignment were abstract and experimental and didn’t know how to approach the assignment. He mentioned that these assignments helped him view art in a different manner, which allowed him to be creative and unique.


Ralph Acosta’s exhibit displayed a video of his mobile application, Observa, which is not only practical but aesthetically pleasing as well. The mobile application is currently in development, and needs to be refined by a coder before being released to the public. The application allows individuals to check and verify arrival and departure of airplanes at LAX. However, something that is unique to this application is that individuals will be presented with fun facts regarding the airplane that they are boarding.


Personally, I enjoyed the Ralph Acosta’s exhibit because it is taking something iconic, LAX airport and recreating it for a modern audience. Traveling and going to the LAX airport no longer draws excitement, individuals dread the processes of arriving and departing for LAX. Recreating LAX allows individuals to gain a novel experience, similar to the experience found when individuals would travel on airlines in the early 1960’s. Something simple as a font change could allow travelers to have a complete different experience. One of my favorite pieces from the gallery was a film that was in a loop. Ralph Acosta mentioned how this film would be displayed at the TSA security check in line, creating an artistic experience for the travelers would eliminate the stresses of traveling and create a entertaining and pleasant environment.


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