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.
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.