For the last artist interview blog in our art 110 class, we had something special in store: A BFA Illustration/Animation Group Exhibition that is basically an annual show to showcase the works of all graduating BFA students. There were many different artists represented as well as many artistic styles/ideas represented. For these BFA students, it is clear that the work being presented today is their pride and joy. There were many pieces that caught my attention and having a detailed explanation about each one would do them justice, but alas, time is limited. There were some artists that came to speak to us, but the works that drew the most of my attention did not have an artist physically present to explain the creation.
One of my favorite pieces evoked strong feelings of curiosity: A colorful motorcycle helmet.
When I initially examined it, I didn’t look INSIDE the helmet. I believe that this is because the helmet was positioned to be facing the wall. Whether or not this was intentional, I do not know- I wish I did, however. Anyways, seeing a skull inside the helmet was a little surprising. Perhaps the skull alludes to some sort of motorcycle culture? Or perhaps a more stark interpretation would imply that the skull represents death, and perhaps this is hinting towards the “dangerous” aspect of motorcycles- the reason why motorcyclists are referred to as “organ donors”. These interpretations could be off, but the motorcycle helmet is eye-catching nonetheless.
The pictures above shows the work that was presented by an artist named Nathan Lewis. This was the first thing I walked to when I initially entered into the Gatov galleries. It is a milestone for me: this is the type of art that I could see myself paying cash in order to transfer ownership of the pieces to ME. The artist is emulating his passion for art and design through his works. They seem to be skateboards with intricate drawings on them. It is very aesthetically pleasing in person with GREAT detail in the drawings.
Here are other images of other works that I felt were interesting:
The last artwork (picture above) definitely made me think about Vietnam. I’m fairly certain that the artist was trying to depict Ha Long Bay.
One of the classmates that I briefly interviewed was Edgar Bueno:
He shares a number of similarities with me. He is currently in his first year of college at CSULB, but lives in Bellflower. Therefore he is able to commute and takes about as long as I do: 15 minutes. He is currently a sociology major but is looking into applying to dental school- seems like there can be a consensus that a good number of people in art 110 is taking an interest towards dentistry. Anyways, Edgar is/was active in soccer and cross country. Cross country was used as conditioning in order to prepare him for the soccer season. This was quite interesting as I did cross country myself during high school, but that was mainly for the social aspects. He decided to take on CSULB due to how convenient it is for him. Like me, he chose this art 110 class initially because he needed to fill up those art G.E requirements.
The exhibit this week took place in both the gatov west and gatov east galleries. This was indeed a group exhibition, so there was a wide variety of artworks displayed belonging to a number of different artists. Although there was a collection of written artist statements to go through, I only found reasonable interview time with one artist, Yiren Kwak. I felt that she looked familiar and then quickly realized that she had displayed her art in the past, and I had written an interview blog on her.
The exhibition is titled Liminal, and it is a senior painting/drawing BFA show. The title suggests that the artists have navigated through new practices and periods of transition. All the works seem different but are connected because of the atmosphere of support and learning in which they are formed. “All of the artists have developed their own visual language and personal practice”. This explanation for the title and the premise of the exhibition makes sense: the word liminal is typically defined as “Of or relating to a transitional or initial stage of a process”.
Here are examples of pieces I found to be particularly interesting:
Yiren Kwak’s work in particular draws some familiarity to her previous art show. She specializes in detailed oil painting and retains some common themes: landscapes, nature, and the outside environment. 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
Before I lose the information on this interview: A while ago, I had the great pleasure of having a chat with Joseph Awadallah. Joseph has Palestinian parents as well as family residing in Palestine. His parents are Catholic which is a reminder of the cultural diversity that exists in Palestine. This is Joseph’s first year at CSULB and he is currently an undeclared major. He lives in Cypress, which is not too far from CSULB so he is able to commute to school. Joseph also has a great interest in sports, with soccer and basketball being his favorite hobbies in general. He enjoys spending much of his free time working out at the gym, listening to music, or watching sports such as soccer/basketball/football. When inquired about a favorite food Joseph will quickly answer with something called “Upside Down”. He explained it as a mix of rice and chicken but swore that it was way more appetizing than it seems. I have never heard of the dish before so I actually had to google it…Turns out it is formally called “Maqloobeh” and it is a Palestinian dish…and it definitely is mouth-watering.
He is currently busy with a job at Papa John’s as a pizza delivery guy as well.
I enjoyed talking to Joseph Awadallah and found him to be an extremely cool dude. I wish him the best of luck at CSULB and his future endeavors outside of that.