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.
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.