Week 3: Conversations (Artist + Classmate)

02/05/15

YIREN KWAK & MARYANNE GONZALES

Prior to the start of this week of Art 110, I made short preparations in order to write another fairly concise blog post about the work(s) of art being displayed in the galleries this time around. I found that the most potentially interesting exhibit (in my own opinion) for week three would be from Yiren Kwak and Maryanne Gonzales.

The Art 110 homepage stated that these artists would be displaying oil paintings and drawings that would be focused on the relationship between nature and architecture.

This statement caught my attention because I became very curious about the subject matter. The artists had chosen two very stark contrasts that they needed to represent through their work. Some people find that nature and the outdoors are pure and holds beauty that is unmatched by artificial creations.  A person like myself on the other hand, find that architecture and other man made systems are capable of carrying their own aesthetically pleasing features. After all, human accomplishments are some of the most amazing feats of ingenuity and determination.

This particular exhibit is located in the Gatov-West, and there was indeed a mix of art works by Yiren Kwak and Maryanne Gonzales. Here is an example of one of those paintings:

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I had an opportunity to listen to Yiren Kwak’s explanation behind the insipration(s) for her art work. However, I did not notice Maryanne Gonzales in the vicinity, so I did not hear any of her views on her works personally. I honestly did not find out whether she was or was not absent from the art galleries on Thursday.

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Anyhow, I believe she would have emulated much of what Mrs. Kwak had to say. Basically, the work of Yiren Kwak and Maryanne Gonzales dealt with tensions created by two very different landscapes: the urban, man-made environments and the natural world. Much of the oil paintings represented an environmental issue that faces us today. Some of them depicted droughts/water shortages, pollution, etc. The basic premise behind making all of these oil paintings was that “nature reacts accordingly to how humanity treats it”. They hoped to evoke many emotions from their viewers, like peace, joy, confusion, and frustration. Yiren Kwak stated that all/most of her works of art were inspired by where she lived. She also mentioned that she lives on a hilly area, which enables her to have a vast vantage point of the environment around her. If you noticed the painting she is standing in front of (featured image on front page),  that would have been a painting that imitated a gold course that she knows. Yiren Kwak also finds that oil painting (in comparison to acrylic painting) takes much more finesse and skill, which is clearly demonstrated in her works.

The real HIGHLIGHT during this art-viewing day was a particular work by Maryanne Gonzales. (I didn’t take a picture since my camera died…dumb move by me, I know. I’ll do my best to describe it.) It was titled, “Distraction Disruption”. Pretty catchy name, huh? The reason I was so interested in this particular art was because I felt that I made a connection with the art piece’s message immediately. Most of the painting was dark: displaying a gritty, colorless world. The background was something that looked like an interstate freeway. I almost want to say that it is directly influenced by the freeways running through Los Angeles county, with all the overpasses and wide lanes being the prominent features. Littered all over this highway were (if you could recognize it) rear view mirrors that come from cars. In the mirrors, you could see a reflection of the drivers, which probably represent human beings as a whole. Most of the faces depicted through the rear-view mirrors were blind-folded. The other mirrors showed the drivers being distracted due to multitasking. In one of the mirrors, I saw a person using their phone while driving. In another, I saw a person using make up.

The only colorful element of this painting came from a crack in the highway of the painting. It looked like a green root of some sort, but it was obvious that it represented nature. I believe that this painting is saying that the average person is so distant from nature that they are blind and distracted from what is actually alive and breathing. Quite interesting.

Classmate Conversation: Joseph Gamba

I had the honor of interviewing classmate Joseph Gamba this week:

I found that we had a number of similarities. First of all, we both took Art 110 purely out of wanting to get category C credit in order to complete the necessary general education requirements. Damn G.Es…

We also both commute to school, which is a good plus since the dorms are CSULB seem to barely give more comfort than a state prison. However, he is not a California native since he is originally from Illinois. Fortunately, he is finding California to be a great place as the weather has treated him well. He is a currently a business major like myself as well, so we both share a healthy distrust of the liberal arts.

He enjoys watching sports in his free time and is an outdoors man: he cannot stand being trapped indoors and needs to get out and do something. I also learned that Joseph is currently a senior (lucky) and should be graduating in the very near future. I wish him good luck on his future endeavors.

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