This last artist interview of the artist Nathan Lewis for my fifteenth week of art class was not an interview at all. This is because the artist himself was not present at the gallery and only left his works to display for us all to enjoy alongside the works of all the other art students also on display in the gallery. This is the first time this has happened where I conducted an “interview” solely based on an artist’s work and not the artist him/herself. It was all new and unique to me but I thought it was a nice twist to change things up since this is the very last interview before the semester’s end.
Out of all the art pieces by numerous artists on display in the gallery, there was a specific reason why I had to chose this one. That is because Nathan’s art used skateboard decks as its canvas and one of my favorite hobbies is skateboarding! This exhibit caught my eye right away and right then I knew I had to write my post about this more than all else. It was very interesting to see art’s influence reach as far as to include skateboarding and the fact that the decks were used was a very nice touch. This appealed to me the most in all of the gallery because of the sort of connection I share with Lewis’s work, especially since I carry around my skateboard all day and ride it to quickly get around. The graphics were just as intriguing. Each deck had a full-size portrait of a person of some mystical origin. Every one of them was full of detail with vivid colors.
This will be the last set of interviews as it marks the end of the semester and with finals week coming up next week. For my very last classmate interview on the fifteenth week of art class, I had the pleasure of talking with Julian Pineda. He was very fun and easy to converse with. Julian is from Lake Elsinore, CA, a place I have heard of and possibly visited before (if i remember correctly), and graduated from Lakeside High School. I thought it was very cool the fact that he said the high school was right across the street from the lake. I could easily imagine him and his friends just conveniently going for a swim at the lake whenever they wished. Julian is currently studying here at Cal State Long Beach as a first year criminal justice major. That was another interesting fact I found out about him as criminal justice seems to be quite a unique major. I don’t hear about or find a lot of people with that major.
Julian is a person with a wide range of interests. His hobbies include a lot of sports of all kinds, reading, video games, and he sometimes draws. I found it especially interesting how he said that he takes part in many different types of sports instead of only one or a few like most people. Julian likes to diversify his athletics on a large variety. That showed me how different he can be from others, but in a cool way. Julian aspires to be an FBI agent, which is no surprise considering the major he is pursuing. Specifically, he would like to be an agent in either intelligence or in the field. However, he told me that he had different plans for himself when he was younger. Previously, Julian wanted to work in NASA and maybe even wanted to be an astronaut and planned on being an aerospace major in order to do so. Regarding his exposure to art, Julian took drawing classes when he was thirteen years old and still occasionally draws in his spare time. He also thinks this class is “all over the place” but still thinks it is fun and can appreciate it.
For this week’s art class artist interview, I walked into the Gatov-West Art Gallery and saw a familiar face. That person is none other than the artist Yireh Elaine Kwak, who has presented her works and whom I have interviewed before in these galleries back in week three of this class. Elaine has been painting for around nine or ten years already. She is studying here at Cal State Long Beach for her Bachelors degree (BFA) in painting and this current exhibit serves as her senior show. Elaine plans to aim for even bigger as she shared about her plans to attend grad school at UC Berkeley.
Elaine’s art works are rich and lively because they are all bursting with a vibrant array of colors. She stated that she takes around a month and a half of time per painting. I can totally see why she needs that much time with all the detail that goes into her art pieces. Elaine noted her preference of consistent usage of bright colors in her oil paintings. She primarily uses oil paints when it comes to painting landscapes because it gives the best range of saturated and neutral colors. Elaine’s focus on beautiful and natural landscapes have become the setting of most of her paintings. She states that this is because of the fact that it has always been very important to her family that the houses they chose to live in must have a beautiful view. Because of this strong influence, Elaine has always placed special emphasis on the beautiful landscapes exhibited in her works. She goes outside to watch the view then goes to a studio where she begins to sketch and paint the view from memory. Elaine has further stated that she draws inspiration from famous artists such as Van Gogh.
This week for my classmate interview in my art class, I interviewed Edgar Bueno. He resides in the nearby city of Bellflower and graduated from Bellflower High School. Here at Cal State Long Beach, Edgar is a sociology major in his first year and is also taking prerequisite classes in preparation for his future plan of attending dentist school. I couldn’t help but think to myself about how much schooling he has ahead of him and wished him the best of luck. This also intrigued me further because my classmate that I interviewed last week, Jacob, also had plans to be a dentist as his career in the future. It has truly made me realize the extent of dentistry’s popularity.
Edgar’s interests weren’t numerous, but he was very passionate about them nonetheless. His favorite hobbies are soccer and video games, specifically FIFA (a video game franchise on the sport of soccer). I could tell right away that soccer was a big part of his life and that he loved it very much. Additionally, Edgar also likes to play basketball occasionally but soccer is his main sport. As for his future career, Edgar aspires to be a dentist with his own dentistry office business. This was surprising to me because of how big of a difference that was from the sociology major that he is currently studying in. Regardless, Edgar plans to do so in the hopes of achieving an early retirement. That is quite a bold and ambitious plan but I believe he can do it. Edgar did not like art when he was young but now can admire and appreciate its beauty. He doesn’t do any art himself, though. Edgar also likes and enjoys the art class and thinks it is different.
This week for my thirteenth artist interview in my art class, I had the pleasure of interviewing and experiencing the artist Marty Knop and his work. His art was on display in his exhibit called Printmaking MFA. The aspect of art he specializes in deals with technology in a form called digital printing. It’s always interesting to me to find unique displays of art like this because I find it different and not traditional, like drawing and painting. This has shown me how even something such as technology can revolutionize art to transform it into something totally different and new for all of us to appreciate. Marty stated that he loves to work with digital printing because of the endless possibilities it can provide. This is due to how flexible digital printing can be and how easily it can be used to manipulate data.
Marty went on further discussing his art pieces and going in to detail on how they are created. He states that he determines which color to use by how well the color combinations contrast in relation to one another. This is made possible through his use of acrylic paint, or as Marty refers to it as “flat” paint, and his occasional use of stencils. An important fact about his works in the exhibit is that it all employs the use of mathematics (specifically matrices) combined with the use of technology to give it life. Marty explained that the patterns shown on the works displayed were generated based on matrix equations and then turned to inverse with the colors to create the said patterns. This process is further made possible with the application of algorithms that the computer runs, with some parts of the algorithm his own mixed with snippets of other algorithms to create the three-dimensional pieces. It was all very confusing but I am glad he had the passion to focus intently on his work. Surprisingly, Marty lastly revealed that he limits color use by not mixing colors often to reduce cost and increase efficiency. This was unexpected to me given how colorful all the pieces were.
For my thirteenth week of art class, I interviewed my fellow classmate Jacob MacMaster for my student interview. I couldn’t help but compliment him on how cool his last name was right as he said it. Jacob is from Fresno, CA and attended Clovis East High School. He is a fifth year here at Cal State Long Beach, to which he referred to himself as a “super senior”, and is majoring in biology. To my surprise, however, Jacob later stated that he aspires to be a dentist in the future as his career, which is very different and unexpected given the fact that he is studying biology. This showed me how varying and interesting someones’ interests can range from. In doing so, Jacob is planning on going through four more years of dentistry school. If that doesn’t work out, he will go to PA (physician assistant) school.
Jacob truly did have a wide range of interests. As for his hobbies, he quickly stated without hesitation that his absolute most favorite thing to do is snowboarding. I could feel his passion for the hobby pouring out right as he said it. One of his favorite spots to snowboard at is Snow Summit at Big Bear. However, Jacob has expressed concern and disappointment at how far and expensive snowboarding can be, presenting some challenging obstacles to his passionate hobby. This does not seem to deter him from going most years nonetheless. Another favorite hobby of his is video gaming, much like me as I have mentioned countless times before. Jacob loves games on the console and computer such as Battlefield 4. Regarding art, Jacob has not done much art since childhood but does enjoy the art class. He thinks it is very cool how we are able to meet new people.
3 MOST favorite activities:
1) Student Choice – I liked this activity because it allowed us freedom to explore and experiment our own activities without any preset rules or requirements.
2) Portrait Photography – I liked this activity because it was relatively simple yet very meaningful for us to be creative in how we create a setting for the activity.
3) The Mina Show – I liked this activity because it was very different by how it pushed us to get out and get to know ourselves better by pushing our comfort zones just a little bit.
3 LEAST favorite activities:
I would just like to note that I believe all of the activities were creative and meaningful in their own respective ways. However, if I had to choose three least favorites, then here they are.
1) Instagram – I disliked this activity because it was not really related to art and as easy as it was, it still required me to make an Instagram account.
2) Graffiti Writing – I believe this activity was quite inconvenient because of the requirement for me to purchase spray paint and find a suitable location to simply do and document the activity.
3) Plaster Casting – I thought this activity was far too complicated compared to previous ones and was above the par of the other activities regarding the amount of effort needed.
I think that the websites and conversations are a nice touch to the class. Our own websites are simple platforms for us to do our work on and the conversations give us a chance to meet new people and make friends.