This week was pretty cool in the art galleries. The art was very diverse and colorful, which is my favorite. I talked to an artist named Elia Murray about her oblong sculpted dogs. She explained that she loves making dogs in her art. Her parents were both artists, she explained; her father was an illustrator and mom an artist. The art influence was always there, but Elia began getting serious about art in high school. After high school she wanted to major in English, but her parents wanted her to major in Art. She was one of the only students whose parents wanted them to major in Art instead of English. Elia has sculpted dogs and created toy dogs out of a fiber material. She also writes poetry and short stories. In one of her short stories, a black bear turns into a polar bear. She plans on selling paintings, sculptures or toys over the summer.
Joe O’brien is a 5th year senior at Cal State Long Beach. He was born in Oman, a country in the Middle East; that’s just east of Saudi Arabia. He moved to Ojai, CA with his parents and two older brothers when he was seven. Joe went to Santa Barbara City College for three years to study Industrial Design after he was influenced by his older brother who took that major at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Joe liked how Industrial Design incorporated engineering, science, and art. After a few semesters, Joe realized he was enjoying the art designing more than the rest. He then transferred to CSULB his fourth year of college and changed his major to Studio Art with an emphasis in graphic design. Joe does print design and branding work for ASI communications at CSULB; he helps create posters around campus, logos for companies, band posters, and tons more. His favorite piece of work is below, it was a logo for a fictional company called “The Biohouse”. Joe is having an upcoming art show on the 20th-23rd of May 2015 at the “Madhouse Gallery” in Downtown Long Beach. It is entitled “kaleidoscopic” and it is going to feature art from several seniors from CSULB who major in graphic design. Come check his work out!
Marty Knop’s MFA printmaking show was made up computer-generated art posters that had huge influence from math and computer language. Knop has several different methods of making his art. He sometimes puts in coordinates on an x, y axis and translates the plots into a design program that shows an image. Sometimes he’ll use basic three dimensional shapes using iCad, or photoshop, or Mathmatica.
Knop is a pretty intelligent guy. I barely knew the definition of half of the words he was saying. I stayed with him for what I understood and I understood a majority after a bit. Knop likes Automata, the study of complexity through simple rules. this is what much of his art portrays, complexity through simple shapes and patterns.
Patricia is Majoring in Fine Arts in the metals department. She is from the city of Dinuba which is in California’s central valley. Patricia was always outdoors as a child, she didn’t like the indoors. Patricia’s work consists of dirt, water, metal and wood. The title of her show this week is “Rebuilding”. Her show features several structures made from a mixture of dirt and water. She states that she is “curious about how [the processes of agricultural practices] relate to growth through means of land use, labor and loss.
Patricia compacts dirt that she collects from the central valley and structures them into shapes. The shapes look unstable, but are actually quite stable. She has been doing these structures for about a year now. She gets help from her mom, dad and friends to collect the dirt. Her favorite part about her show is breaking her art with a sledgehammer and re-packing the dirt into bags for re-use. She sifts her collected dirt several times in order to get very finely grained dirt.
One of her favorite pieces is a little brick of compacted dirt that she collected from the grave of a person she knew. After schooling, Patricia’s priority is to get an art studio and maybe get a job teaching.
Kaclicla Chhin is a 4th year CSULB student who is attaining her BFA with a focus in sculpture art. Amanda Ruiz is Chhin’s partner in this show entitled “Curiosity killed the cat, and satisfaction brought it back”. Kaclicla did all of the sculpture in the exhibit, whereas Amanda sketched all the paintings.
There is a 10 by 10 foot canvas at the entrance of the exhibit covered in plastered moldings of several people’s genitals. She told us that the models for the sculpture moldings were family and friends. I asked if it was awkward for her or them to do the moldings, she replied “No, not for me. Maybe for them at first, but they got used to it” Behind the canvas wall is a unique shaped lamp-type sculpture that is made of moldings of vaginas. It took about three weeks to complete all of the sculptures in the show, Chhin also sculpted a plaster light bulb and penis that were shown in two other galleries. Kaclicla did not want her picture taken, so I respected her privacy. Amanda’s drawings also seemed to be all sexually themed.
Amanda’s drawings seek to normalize a thing that most people are a bit reluctant to speak so openly about. When I asked both artists what their inspiration was for their sexually themed art was, they both said they sought to show the true nature of sex and talk openly about it, they both found it weird that in a society where sex is glorified in the media, people are still uncomfortable about talking openly about sex. They gradually got to their comfortable state of open sexuality after a while. Now the topic of sex really interests them.
Michael Rollins is majoring in Fine Arts and is hoping to complete his BFA very soon. The paintings in his show “New Digs” are very inspiring. Rollins states that he does not paint from a reference, but rather he paints freely embodying the product of tension and balance. His work portrays the physical, expressive, and animalistic aspects of his personality.
Personally, I love the use of texture in his paintings. As you can see in the photo below, the layers of paint give off such a sense of depth and roughness. His work is very vibrant in color and significance. The paintings aren’t as concrete as we’d like them to be, but that’s what makes them so uncertain and great.
Distrust: to regard with doubt or suspicion.
Laura is a BFA major dealing with fiber. Laura first started off in Santa Monica College as a Psychology major, then she was encouraged by an art professor to pursue art.
Laura’s exhibit this past week was pretty gnarly. As I walked into the Merlino Gallery, I was greeted by a sign that said “enter with caution”. This of course sparked my interest. So I walk in, not knowing what to expect… and i am surprised to see that the room was lined with several golden strings that originate from the mirror at the center of the wall furthest away from the door. It gives the room a “vortex” feel and makes the mirror outlined with bullet casings the “focal point of the room”. The couch and curtains are seemingly normal, until you take a closer look and see that the cushions are stuffed with guns and the curtains have machine-gun patterns stitched on them. The walls are lined with beautifully crafted posters of the human body, which happen to look very similar to shooting practice targets.
Scattergood says she got the inspiration for this show while she was in Canada and she heard of several mass shootings in both the US and Canada. I personally think this show forces a person to look beyond the obvious and to pay close attention to little details.
I glanced into the printmaking exhibit in the Dutzi Gallery, but not for long until I was informed by a classmate that we had to visit the printmaking workspace classroom. So I followed a group of students into the printmaking workshop and I was amazed. I saw the different machines and equipment used to create the intricate posters in the gallery. A woman added that “Everything in the room was very expensive, so no touching”. Another young lady began to show the students how a simple etching was transformed into a embossed postcard.
As I began to return to the Dutzi gallery, I spoke to a woman who I believed to be an artist of some of the print works. She was happy to have me interview her. I found that her name was Clare Samani and she was a transfer student from College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita. Clare originally majored in painting, but switched into Printmaking BFA a few years ago.
I asked where her inspiration for her artwork came from, she mentioned that her father was a “doodler” but no one else in her family really had an art background. She then asked if I meant inspiration for her artwork’s content, to which I replied “both”. She then specified that she uses the ever-present women’s issues in life to inspire her artwork. She then showed us one of her posters entitles “I know that I know nothing at all”, which depicts a small girl balancing atop a pile of seemingly unstable boulders. She explained that this poster was a lithography poster made from a sketch that she carved into stone for 8 hours, and prints for another 8 hours.
Someone else then asked her what her favorite type of printmaking was. She said that everyone has a different “favorite” but hers is Etching because it allows her sketch and get the exact picture she wants. She says that she plans to open up her own printmaking shop in the future, either for fabric or paper.
Emily is a Drawing and Painting student at CSULB. Her interest in art began in high school. She recently began seriously painting around two years ago. She mainly paints black and white portraits. She had her first art gallery showing last semester at the CSULB galleries. Emily used to paint purely imaginative and fantasy pieces. Emily studied abroad in England, where she visited dozens of museums and gained much of her inspiration for her art.
Her portraits are so life-like, and detailed I’ve never been so close to any portraits like hers. She still keeps a bit of her fantasy themes in her portraits, for example she has a Ouija board in one of her self-portraits. She says she remains the same person in each of her paintings, and tries to blend in her inspirations.
So this week I got the chance to meet with Dianna Franco and discuss her artwork. She was a bit mysterious about where she grew up and what high school she went to, but she narrowed it down to the “South Bay Area”. She began seriously painting about 5 years ago when she started school at CSULB.
Her art is focused on the relationships between nature and civilizations in psychology and science. I asked her what specific aspects of nature inspire her. She answered that the cosmic view of space and the micro sights of molecules and cells inspire her. I then asked what parts of civilization, to which she answered “Cities, stereos and satellites”.
Franco uses saturated and neutral colors to explore the inner and outer areas of her pieces. She primarily uses oil and acrylic paint, but lately she has been using spray paint. She is conflicted as to whether or not to continue using spray paint, because she feels that spray paint won’t last as long as oil or acrylic, and she wants her art to last.
When I viewed her art, I was astonished at the size and the incredible use of color and her use of hard edges. She didn’t name her pieces so that observers wouldn’t be influenced to see a certain thing; Franco wants to hear what people see in her art. She asked me personally what I saw in her pieces, I saw several things. I told her that I saw the molecular and cellular influence in a few pieces, but she was silent when I said this. She never told me what exactly what she was trying to portray in any of her pieces; but I think I cracked the code. Many of her pieces look as if you were gazing up from the street of a city, the buildings surround a cosmic and sky-like center.