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.
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.
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.
Andrea Albarran is a student artist at California State University of Long Beach. She has been majoring in Drawing and Painting for five years now. She mostly uses oil paint and loves the texture and glassy feel. Still life objects, portraits and abstractions are her preference in painting. Lately she has been using her art to portray her loved ones, her feelings and her imagination. In High School Andrea was into fashion and design, but her high school art teacher saw talent in her and encouraged her to pursue a career in art. Andrea never saw a future in art, until she was encouraged by her teacher; so Andrea stuck with painting ever since. Andrea always feels that her paintings are “never really finished”, so she is constantly adding to her work. Andrea loves to ask people what they get out of her paintings, that is what they feel when they see them.
Andrea also did a collaboration with an other student artist at csulb, his name is Victor Ortiz. His work was unique and focused on the human body in unique brush strokes. The piece that the artists worked together on really showed their distinct styles of painting. Victor’s brush strokes were the basis of the piece, but Andrea’s use of color was prominent in the art. Andrea said she loves the use of color.
I personally enjoy Andrea’s artwork, it is a blend of abstraction and reality. Her portraits are stunning and have hints of abstraction also.
I am an Insta-aficionado to say the least… I try to post at least one picture a day, whether it is a photo of a great memory from days past, or a candid snap of my daily activity. I love the idea of a social network that is connecting people primarily through square photos. So when I heard we were going to be using Instagram as an art activity, I was thrilled. At first I was going to post a morning selfie, but then I looked in the mirror and quickly changed my mind haha. I started by taking pictures at the art galleries which 80% of my classmates also did. Then I went to lunch with some buddies from my old high school which we do every thursday at Glory Days Sports Bar.
Time passed and I got out of my evening class to meet one of my best friends at her dorm where we were to decide what our escapade was for the evening. After much deliberation and arguing over who was to drive, we decided to explore 2nd Street and grab a snack and chill at the beach. I stopped by Starbucks for a drink and we were on our way. My friend June suggested we eat at a nearby ice-cream parlor, I agreed and we were there before we knew it. The place was called Paradis and it was quite pricey, but worth every penny. The next post was a pic of my coffee and ice cream.
As we continued exploring, we stumble upon the very cool antique shop that had a steampunk vibe. I felt like I was in another world when I entered the store… I was greeted by a young woman who was serving chocolate desserts and watering a plant hanging in a glass jar from the ceiling. All around me were influences from every era of the United States: a 1920’s typewriter turned lamp, a Victorian era cabinet filled with ink and quill sets, and of course there were many products and books from this decade such as top 50 Zombie movies. My next photo was a tiny section of the massive antique shop of a few vintage nautical items. I wish I could’ve taken more pics, but the owner insisted on not photographing his establishment. We then went to the beach, but it was too cold and too dark to stay so we headed back to the car. After a few hours on 2nd street, me and my friend went back to CSULB and chilled at the Student Union in one of its lounges. I began to play the piano (quite horrendously I might add), and my friend snapped a pic of me. After the union closed, it was time for me to head back home and call it a night.
When I searched the hashtag #Art110S15, I noticed that most of my classmates posted pictures of the art galleries, what they ate for the day, and themselves with their friends. Although many students had their own personal touches to their photos, the majority posted selfies and food pics. I guess that’s what people think interests other people these days…. Food, Narcissism, and showing how many friends they have. That’s just my opinion though. My Instagram posts are in the sidebar.
Yireh Elaine Kwak spoke about her art exhibit in the East Gatov gallery on Thursday the 5th of February. It was entitled “Harmony and Discordance” and it included mostly her paintings and a few of her good friend’s art. Most of Elaine’s portraits were of vibrant pastures and scenic views of hills and trees. Whereas her friend’s paintings were of urban decaying views of the city. Elaine represents the “Harmony” and her friend represents the “discordance”
Elaine is inspired by her home of Fullerton and its many picturesque landscapes. That is where the inspiration for most of her paintings in the gallery arrived from. Elaine described her process: she picks a spot in her backyard and paints what she sees, then she takes the painting indoors and paints the rest from memory. I thought this was very cool because she did not need a subject in front of her to paint. I personally love Elaine’s work because I enjoy views of green landscapes and pastures, so I can appreciate the nature of her art… Pun intended. I also liked how she painted based on memory and what she saw.
I spoke to Elaine one-on-one and asked her to tell me her background in art and to start from the “very beginning”. Although she had only recently began taking her art more seriously in the past five or six years, she was fascinated with art since childhood and has always been praised for being creative. Elaine is attending CSULB and is receiving her BFA in Drawing and Painting. Elaine explained that at times she gets so frustrated with the little progress that her art is making that she will transfer that stressful energy into entirely separate art pieces as seen in this piece entitled “pasture”.
I woke up at 10 AM for my Art Class on Tuesday morning, I arrived early so I picked up a copy of the Daily 49er and picked up a cup of coffee. As I began to read, I stumbled on an article entitled “Through the Fired Glass” an editorial about an artist from CSULB named Maccabee Shelley. The Article continued on to describe Shelley’s background in art and his showcased art in the Gotav Gallery at the university entitled “No Redemption Value”.
As I make my way toward class, I pass the Gotav gallery to have a peep at the artwork that I was just reading about. I saw these unique-looking glass statues that looked like coral-reefs, but I didn’t get a close enough look. I got to class and viewed a documentary about spray-painting art around the world. After the documentary, a guest arrived to class and our professor Zucman introduced him as Maccabee Shelley. The artist that I had been reading about just minutes before and had caught a glimpse of his art was now standing in front of me discussing his work.
After class, I returned to the Gotav gallery and had some one-on-one time with “Mac” Shelley to discuss his artwork and the entire process it takes for a piece. He explained that he basically creates a plaster and silicone-like mold with chicken wiring as a structure for the shape of the piece he is attempting to create. He then takes several glass bottles with no redemption value and crushes them and fills the mold with the glass. He then puts the mold with glass in a ceramics oven and the glass melts into the shape of the mold. After the glass and mold are cool enough, he breaks apart the plaster mold and the piece is finished. He then began to tell me about all of the experiments he conducted with the glass pieces, such as the “dripping effect” that some of the pieces had from sections that weren’t yet cooled all the way. He said that the more he tinkered with his art, the more cool effects and visuals he produced.
I asked him several questions beyond the technical processes of his artwork as well. For instance, I wondered why none of his art pieces had names or titles; so I asked him. Shelley himself wondered if names would “add or subtract to the value of [his] pieces”; he explained that if he gave his artworks names, people would be influenced to see what the names suggested. He would rather the observer see what they felt the art meant to them, rather than what the artist sensed. Shelley then began to tell me about his ambitions to go to a good grad school and his hopes that the artwork he was producing now would be recognized and admired. “If you have an idea, go for it! Even if you fuck up, it’s better than not trying the idea in the first place”; No Redemption Value was Maccabee Shelley’s idea.