Wk 10 – Artist Conversation – Amy Duran

Exhibition Information

Artist: Amy Duran

Exhibition: forever by your side 

Media: Ceramics, Sticks, Grass, Velvet

Gallery: CSULB School of Art Gallery

Instagram: @polkadot.pony


About The Artist

Amy Duran is a senior at California State University, Long Beach currently enrolled in the university’s BFA in ceramics. She has been extremely interested in art her entire life and was very artistic throughout her childhood. This exhibition is very similar to the rest of her work, which is all about discovering herself. As for the future, Amy wants to be a decorator and make props for movies.

Photo Apr 05, 14 23 32


Formal Analysis

Duran’s exhibition is called forever by your side about her growing up or “coming out of age” as she describes it. This exhibition features a fairytale of how she grew up, telling a story of a girl (her) and her journey meeting animals (the society) in 5 different chapters. The story is showing every chapter in different “windows” through ceramic dolls and a book next to the objects, reading it as a fairytale, but with its own remix. Each chapter starts with a book and the plot for that window. Each window is covered by a different color of texture, the girl and whomever she meets and a stick that makes the girl spin around to gain interaction with the audience. The objects are ceramic painted in different color and other materials that fill up space such as grass, fog, and trees. Each chapter has a different background that is painted by the artist herself, mostly showing forests that often are displayed in fairytales.

Photo Apr 05, 14 24 32


Content Analysis

The exhibition is about growing up and always feeling like an outsider. It’s her coming out of age story, featuring Amy discovering her sexuality and herself. Her brother told us that it’s about holding on to past memories and that the girl in the exhibition is supposed to be her, and that the animals are creations of the pets she had throughout her life. She states in her artist statement that the exhibition about her personal struggles and how it is growing up with anxiety and forgetting her “inner child”, but at the same time wanting to be an empowering woman who is free. She wanted to tell people that it’s okay to be sad and it’s okay to not be sure about where you are in your life, but that the things we experience and the things we learn are always going to be a part of us and shape us into the person we are today.

Another aspect of her exhibition is that she wanted to embrace feminity and showing us the true strength and independence that women can have. She showed this through the contrast of ideas with empowering through sexual exploration. She believes that one’s true self is shown to you as a child because you weren’t afraid to say what you felt and you were not manipulated by the media and the society at that age.

Photo Apr 05, 14 23 53

As we can see here, she opens up her fairytale with a story about a girl (herself) who is afraid of the society by not being able to be herself and that she was alone in the world with the thoughts that she had. She later explains how the girl is running away from her problems to the animals (which are supposed to be her pets) because she finds comfort in them because of their non-human perspective.


Synthesis/My Experience

Personally, this was one of my favorite exhibitions so far that I’ve seen. Mostly because I can relate so strongly to the artist, but also because I loved how she told her life story through a traditional fairytale, but with a very remixed version. Like Amy, I also felt different and had a tough time growing up. I felt alone and had anxiety, which made me afraid to be who I am and say what I wanted to say. In addition to the general struggle of growing up, I also had a difficult time finding myself, exploring my sexual orientation and feeling less powerful because I am a woman. We love nothing more than to meet people with the same values and mindset as us, and that’s what I felt I did with this exhibition. Lastly, I’m also a huge believer in that everything you go through – good or bad, is a part of shaping who you are and I wouldn’t change anything if I could.

 

Wk 9 – Artist Conversation – David DeSantis

Exhibition Information

Artist: David DeSantis

Exhibition: Day Dreamer

Media: Ink, Spray, Glass, Paint

Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery West

Instagram: @rapturefineart


About the Artist

David DeSantis is a senior at California State University Long Beach, on his way to completing his BFA in printmaking. He decided to attend CSULB because it’s one of the top art school in the west coast and because they have an expensive lab printmaking studio that he is very interested in. Other than art, he likes playing pool and snowboarding and is very interested in the music genre dubstep which is a huge influence in this exhibition. He started his passion for art when he was 18 years old, but did graphic design at that point. He drew motorcycles but found out that wasn’t what he wanted to continue with. He likes graphic design, but not the idea of advertising and making the news. There’s also a lot of typography in graphic design which he doesn’t think leaves enough room for creativity. He did one tour around the building and switched his major that same day to printmaking because of the fancy equipment that he saw.


Formal Analysis

Day Dreaming is an exhibition by David DeSantos, featuring several prints of fluid abstract expressionism. The prints are a mix of different lines, forms, and colors, some without any object and others with. Some of his works that are drawn as objects are the objects of a monster or a scary, unknown form. His work embraces accidental abstract forms and shapes in various manners with the meanings left to the viewer’s imagination. The process starts with a piece of glass that he desires and a set of sharp tools. He then composes the image and abstract the art making around it. He then uses plexiglass that puts over the drawing and cut into the plexiglass then make ridges and then stick ink into it. He uses a thick layer of ink like butter to spray in the end and apply pressure with press.

Photo Mar 22, 14 25 59

This is an example of one of his pieces, showing an abstract form of art. This print shows us different shapes and forms from painting and carved out from tools. Because this is a very abstract photo, the viewer can interpret it as he or she like.

Photo Mar 22, 14 26 08

This is, however, a different type of art, showing an object within the abstract lines and ideas that he wanted. This painting is showing a face or a mask of a creature that can be interpreted as anything.

These two pieces of art are somewhat different, yet similar. The main idea of abstraction and expressionism is greatly shown in both works. David shows us that there are different ways of expressing something or an idea.


Content Analysis

This exhibition is a very abstract one, which is often difficult to understand or read. People often have a variety of ideas linked to this exhibition because of this. However, after taking with David, it was easier to pinpoint what this exhibition actually is about. He states that the theme was to explore the creativity of art appeal under appreciation. Through either paper or canvas. He later states that this exhibition is inspired by the derive expand of abstract and chaos, connected with the artist with it. Much of his work comes from music. He listens to music and starts making art through that. He either listens to one song on repeat until he gets tired of it, or he listens to a series of songs by one artist or inspired by a group of artists. His emotional connection detaches the meaning to that song, which is how his work of art is expressed. And because this is an abstract expressionism, it’s very much up to one to figure out the meaning behind i.


Synthesis/My Experience

What I really liked about this exhibition and that is the first time I’ve heard of is that he is using his music as inspiration. Not just as a general statement about music, but as he is making his paintings, he is actually listen to loud out music and letting the music to form his art. Music is something I personally listen to every day and that have an important meaning to me through the lyrics and songs. Music is a very personal aspect of one’s life because each song has a different meaning for each person, just like his exhibition. When I want to escape, it’s often through music. When I write or do homework I listen to music to deeper concentrate and isolate me from the world. I also think that’s why his art is so abstract – because he lets the music control his body and way to make art, which is often through lines and shapes, not through detailed objects.

-MN


 

Wk 8 – Finger Painting

This week’s activity was really fun because I love to paint and use my creativity as I like. For this activity, we were going to finger paint with no subject, much like the automatic drawing challenge, just by ourselves. The materials I used for this was:

– 22×30 sheet of paper (same as Automatic Drawing)

– Watercolors (purple, pink, red, blue)

fingermaling

I didn’t really have any intentions with this painting other than I wanted to use my favorite color, purple and different shades of colors. Because I love the ocean, I tried to paint an interpretation of the ocean but with the use of purple colors. As you are may be confused by, it doesn’t really look like much of the ocean. I wanted to create something new and modern and a way to create something with no guidelines on how it should be. The top of the painting was supposed to look the pier, then the middle part was the ocean and the last part the fish or creatures in it. I originally wanted the colors to fade from light purple to dark purple, but because that didn’t really work out as I had planned – the shades of purple were more of a mixture.

It was more difficult than I thought because I kept leaning my hands on the table and getting my clothes dirty because I forgot I had painted on them. It was also very different to paint with my fingers rather than a brush, but I actually liked it more because you feel more connected to your painting because you are directly painting, not through a tool. The only thing I didn’t like was how messy it was and that it kept distracting me from what I wanted to paint.

-MN

Wk 8 – Artist Conversation – German Lomeli

So, this week’s artist conversation is kind of funny because I actually hung out with German later this week without realizing he also was in my Art 110 class! German Lomeli and I have a mutual friend who I was hanging out with last weekend. I was hanging in his dorm with his suite mates and one of them was German. It was a funny coincidence that I met him in class just a couple of days later.

German Lomeli is born and raised in Long Beach. This is his first year at California State University, Long Beach and like myself, he is a film major. It’s funny that we never mentioned our classes because we talked about how we both were film majors. German decided to live in the dorms, even though he is from Long Beach for the same reason as me – the college experience. German has a Youtube channel where he uploads some of his short movies that he has made, which I find really cool because I also do that. It was really interesting to get to know German a bit more although the fact that we already have met.

photo-feb-08-14-57-49

-MN

Wk 7 – Artist Conversation – Elena Roznovan

Exhibition Information

Artist: Elena Roznovan

Exhibition: Stop & Stare

Media: Dirt, Window, and Screens

Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gastov Gallery

Instagram: @eroznovan


About The Artist

Elena Roznovan is a graduate MFA student at Cal State Long Beach, majoring in sculpturing. Before she came here, she was an undergraduate student at Maryland College of Art. She started sculpturing only two years ago because that’s when she moved to California. She wanted to come to California because she is inspired by the light and space and this is where it interacts. She started as a painter but then moved over to interactive insulation. In addition to her passion for painting and sculpturing, she likes to write. Her writing is a huge influence in her art because she thinks about what she wants to do when she writes. She also likes to collect vinyl and spend time outside like hiking.


Formal Analysis

“Stop & Stare” is an exhibition consisting of one piece of art collected by several individual pieces. The project is based on a video projector showing different backgrounds such as landscapes. In the front we see several windows hanging down and the projector lighting through the windows, which creates an interesting work of art. There are three windows in different sizes and angles, hanging down from the rooftop. Every window has their own color of class so that the reflection from the projector and light creates a shadow of the figure on the wall. The moving image is a technologically mediated 2D window containing 4D content that is a representation of a 3D experience. Roznovan re-constructed the gallery space so that the environment challenge the validity of represented experiences.


 Content Analysis

Photo Mar 08, 15 03 39

This is one of the most abstract exhibitions I’ve ever seen, which makes it difficult to understand what it is about without any background information. There are no words, no letters, no music or no communication other than one projector and three mirrors reflecting different colors. What does that mean? Is the point about this that you can read it as you like with no correct answer?

When talking to the artist, I started to realize more what this exhibition was about. She mentioned the idea of how the phenomenon on film doesn’t happen entirely. Through technology, we can decide what we get from it and that’s what she tries to show screens, lightbox and polaroid transparency.  She mentions that photographs are more beautiful and readable and that the light is very important to her. The only way to control it is by canceling all the light except for the light she is using. I believe that her art is a way to challenge our way of thinking and expectations.


Synthesis/My Experience

Personally, it made me think about the perspective and mindset we have today. Everything we do and everything we think is based on our perspective on the world. This perspective is being built in the first part of your life and is extremely hard to change. Once you’re taught a certain way, it’s hard to change. That’s why our childhood is so extremely important. Our childhood often haunts us – good or bad, but somehow it comes back at us. When you grow up and learn about the world and yourself, that’s when you start to form. But still then it’s hard to change. You are used to a certain way of living or thinking and you’re often at a point where you don’t have enough knowledge to think different.

Wk 7 -Classmate Conversation – Christian Infantes

I met Christian in one of the galleries and we sat down on the bench and started talking. I was the first one who introduced myself and what my major was – film production. Christian and I bonded really fast because he also had an interest in film. He is now a first-year with an undeclared major but is debating on majoring in film. Like me, he also really likes cinematography and production in film. Christian commutes to school from the South Bay Area where he is from. As for his hobbies, he is doing music production that he just started with during this summer. He has a huge passion for music and wants to learn how to play the piano. He also wants to make music for films and connect those different forms of art. He took some art and film classes in high school, which is when he just started liking film and art. Another hobby of his that he just started doing is skating. He had his skateboard in his lap as we were talking and he skates around the campus every day to class. Christian has an older brother and a half sister, but they’ve both moved out so he lives alone with his mother. It was a really nice conversation with Christian because we had a lot in common like film and Los Angeles cultures.

Photo Mar 08, 15 33 09

-MN

Wk 6 – Artist Conversation (Short Story)

photo-mar-01-14-39-47

Exhibition: Dank Memes

Artist: Carmina Correa

20×35

CSULB College of Art


In a world where the animals are in control and humans are the underdogs.  This world shows us how humans are treating animals and vice versa. Humans are either entertainment, food or company (if you are cute), without any else value. Humans are trying to gain the power back, but it doesn’t matter. The animals are bigger, stronger and have more resources than we could ever have. They have the technology and powers to destroy us within seconds, whereas we fight for our lives every day without no purpose because it’s never going to change unless they understand it themselves. We live in a selfish world where everyone is looking out for themselves.

Most of us don’t matter. Most of the human race have no meaning for the superior animals in our world, even though we are needed for our planet. We are an important resource, but the animals don’t seem to see it like that. The lucky ones who do matter are the good looking ones. They can be bought or sold to animals and get a decent life. It varies a lot. Some humans who are sold to rich families or families that are human-friendly can get a very good life. Food, a place to live, company and love. However, this is not the case for every human that are living with animals. Some are cruel to humans because they look weird because they didn’t know the responsibility having a human or just in general because they can.

As mentioned, humans are important for this planet. One of the reasons why we are so important to the animals is because our skin has important vitamins and proteins in us that are important for the animals nutrition. They kill, hunt and eat us. Some animals are crueler than others, not caring about the process how we get killed. Others, the human-friendly ones are making sure either already were dead or didn’t get tortured during this process. It’s still all evil without much consideration from the majority.

Our world is fake and just an evil circle for most of us. There is no way we can escape unless we physical escape to a place where the animals have no interaction with us, but not that many can go to those places. We need food, a place to live and a plan to get there, but that’s what I one day dream of. Living in a world where humans can live in the free. Compete as humans do. Live as humans do. I believe

 

Wk 6 – Zine Book

So for this week’s activity, we were going to make Zine books or Flip Books. According to Merriam-webster, a zine is “a small magazine that is written by people who are not professional writers and that usually has stories about a particular subject”. I decided to make a zine book out of index cards and here is what I used:

  • 11 index cards 4×6
  • Staples
  • Color markers
  • My imagination

photo-mar-03-15-52-34

I decided to make my zine about quotes because I always mention quotes as a part of my life when I talk. When my friends ask me about advice or when I deal with a problem of my own, quotes are usually what I seek. I believe good quotes are important to get another’s perspective on life and understand that someone else feels that too. The quotes I chose vary from topics, but in general good life-quotes to have as a reminder in life. Most of these quotes are found in Tumblr and rest are just quotes I randomly remember because I use them a lot throughout my own life. I decided different colors for each page/quote because everyone quote has its own meaning. In addition to the quotes, I decided to illustrate something related to each quote on the next page so that one can understand the bigger picture of what the quotes or my relation to the quotes meanings are.

photo-mar-03-15-52-59

This is my first quote “everything is temporary”. Why this is one of my absolute favorite quotes is because it’s very true. Everything is temporary. The good parts in life and the bad parts in life are only temporary. When I’m having a difficult time I try to remember that this pain is only temporary and I won’t feel like this forever. On the other side, when I’m really happy and start to think about this quote, I say the same thing. This happiness is not going to last forever either. You just need to learn how to live in the moment and enjoy every second of it

photo-mar-03-15-53-30

“And now you’re just a stranger with all my secrets” is about the change that happens in relationships. One day we are best friends and lovers, the next day we are strangers. It’s weird how that happens just like that. You once shared everything with that person, looking at her/him as your mot important person in your life, and then, it’s like you don’t know each other.

photo-mar-03-15-53-39

“You don’t meet people by accident” is a very important quote because it makes you realize that everything happens for a reason. Whether it was a good or bad experience, it happened for a reason and so do the people you meet. They are often teaching you a lesson so that you can bring that with you for your journey (life).

“If you don’t get it off your chest, you’ll never be able to breathe”. We go through our life, too afraid to say what we really mean. The result of this is overthinking and that is what makes you go crazy. If you feel something, you should say it.

There are several pages in my zine, but that was some of it. I really enjoyed this project because I could be free and make what I wanted out of the zine book. I like freedom in creativity and the opportunity to express what I feel through something I like. I’m not the best drawer and I didn’t use the longest time on the drawings, but that’s my point. Life isn’t always going to be perfect or something you’re ready for. “Life is what’s happes to you while you’re busy making plans”

-MN

Wk 5 – Automatic Drawing

When I read that this week’s activity was to draw I was scared. Personally, I’m not the best drawer, but luckily this wasn’t any “normal” drawing activity. We were going to work with a partner, close our eyes and let our “spirit” draw for us. The materials we used for this project was:

  • Drawing paper 22×30 “Rives BFK”
  • Table as a surface to draw on
  • Oil Crayons

Before we started I thought “how are we going to draw this with our eyes closed?”. It seemed strange to not like the art we were making, but I guess that’s the part of the art. We let our mind and our spirit guide us the way, which ended up being very interesting. I thought it was either going to be a mess or something so weird you can interpret millions of ideas into.

photo-feb-26-12-52-56

Process

1. We started with placing our drawing paper on the table with two chairs on each side of the table.

2. After we got everything in place, we choose the first color we wanted to start to draw with. We both chose blue because it’s our favorite color and because we find peace in that color, which is what we related to this project.

3. We both put our hands or fingers on the crayons, closed our eyes and started to draw. In the beginning, it felt weird because it felt like we were just drawing circles on circles. We also laughed a lot in the beginning because of this.

4. After we used the first blue crayon, we changed our color to a lighter blue and did the same thing.

5. As the last color we chose was green because we wanted something different, but still, a color that related to the calm and relaxing feeling we wanted. The last color was when we really speeded up the pace. Both of the blue colors were drawing somewhat the similar circles, here and there in different sizes, but when we used the green crayon, some of our anger came out which drew a harder pressure at one place on the drawing paper.

photo-feb-26-13-01-00

Result

The result was three messy circles randomly (or not) drawn on a sheet of paper. The result was much of what I thought it would look like, but somewhat smaller than I had imagined. When we drew with our eyes closed, it felt like we were using more space than we actually did. Another factor that was annoying was the fact that the paper was moving around on the table as we drew, which could have been good or bad. I guess it gave us more of a variety even though it doesn’t look like much of a difference. When we were drawing our last round with the green crayon I remember we felt restless and we wanted to get the frustration out so we started to pressure the crayon harder. As you can see, some of the greens are more compact exactly because of that.

-MN

Wk 5 – Artist Conversation #3- Yeri Hwang

Exhibition Information

Artist: Yeri Hwang

Exhibition: Within Us

Media: Wood, Acrylic, Plaster, Latex, Electronic, Fog Machine, Mirror

Gallery: CSULB College of Art, SOA Max L. Gatov

Instagram: @yeriyeti


About the Artist

Yeri Hwang is an undergraduate senior who is soon graduating with her major in Studio Art at California State University Long Beach. Addition to this, she likes to write stories and playing video games. She has had a huge interest in art and craft since she was very young and her background in illustration proves that. It was in high school she started to draw and developed skills from there on. One of the possible theories on why she is so artistic is maybe because of her siblings. Her older sister is into music and her other sisters are very crafty, all a fan of the art. Yeri wants to go to grad school in either illustration or video games. Her biggest inspiration in is Alphonse Mucha and in studio art her professors here at CSULB.


Formal Analysis

Within Us is an exhibition consisting of different pieces of art such as a mini model of the Creation of Adam, a blinking sword, overlays of colors, a miniature house and an altar. What’s so different and unique with this exhibition is that all these pieces of art are moving in some way. The audience also has a part in the exhibition by turning lights and movements on and off. There isn’t that easy to connect all these pieces, but what they have in common is a spiritual purpose. They all tell different stories and historical meanings. Each piece has a note next to it where a one-word of spiritual meaning is placed next to the description of the thought behind it. On the last sentence on the note, it tells you what you can do to participate in this piece (turning the lights off/on, what to touch). Every piece of art is made from the ground by herself. She glued, cut and constructed the pieces together so that we can interpret in her art.

photo-feb-22-14-36-26

For example, the word for the altar is “Acceptance & Forgiveness” which is related to what you do at an altar. Underneath it’s a text about forgiveness and question for us to wander about. The second note continues the story of the first and then tell you the instructions of what you can do to “clean your soul”.

photo-feb-22-14-40-28

Another example is this color wheel with the title “Progression”. It continues with stating that the world is looking forward to your journey and instructions to switch the lights where you wish to be (you can spin the wheels and change the order of the colors). This is another example of something spiritual and two-parted that we can participate in.


Content Analysis

There are many hidden messages that can be related to this exhibition. God, self-awareness, forgiveness and exploration are just a few of the theme that you can say that this exhibition has. Hwang explains that much of her inspiration about this was that she was able to find peace when she made it. She hopes that other people are able to find peace within her art as well. When she further explains the reason behind a two-part participation between the artist and the audience, she states that art is often very limited and by this, she expands its limits. She thinks that art should be for everyone and when people interact in her art, they get to tell their stories as well. For example, the altar is a journey itself from how she made it. She had many feelings streaming through her body when she made that because she has been through a lot and this piece reflects some of that.

photo-feb-22-14-35-37

Here is a photo of me interacting with her art by holding the sword. When no one is touching it, it’s still a sword – stuck in a rock, but when the audience touches it, it brightens up like it’s newborn. The note next to the sword says “Choice and Commitment” because it reflects the choices we stand upon every day and how hard it is to make the right choice sometimes. The sword symbolizes having faith and going for it (touching the sword so it brightens up) because once you do, you can conquer the world.


Synthesis/My Experience

The most interesting aspect of this exhibition for me was the fact that the audience could also participate, which made us feel special or a part of something. I also find the spiritual theme itself fascinating because our lives are very much about forgiveness. Art is a way to express yourself whether that is true anger, sadness or happiness. Forgiveness is something between what once were anger but not is happiness. We learn to move on with our life, have faith in we believe in and focus on what’s important.

Sometimes when I’m alone or upset I seek to the art. Art is a way of escapism and that’s what I felt with this exhibition too. It moved me because of the realness and emotional input of our perspective. The art didn’t speak for us, but let us find out how to speak to it. None of the art told me rights or wrong, but it made me realize what I felt was right and wrong. I really enjoyed this exhibition as one of my favorite ones because of the participation I could contribute with. As soon as we get to participate too, it changes what we feel and the connection with the art. Without any connection, art is just the concrete answer on what we see or touch.

 


-MN