My twelfth artist interview of the artist Ashley Sharpe for my art class was surely one to remember. It was about her exhibit that was as unique as it was cute. That is because the exhibit, called Meow, is about cats as it was filled with abstract portraits of various different cats in all sorts of colors. To me, it was almost some sort of shrine or dedication to her fondness of the furry little feline creatures. When asked about the matter, Ashley stated that her exhibit is meant to be some sort of “altar” and/or spiritual fantasy world for honoring all cats around the world, whether alive or passed away. It is also used to express her “quirky spirit” and “playful personality” to her audience.
Ashley is from Palm Springs, CA, a place I have been to before myself, and has lived there her entire life before moving to LA to attend Cal State Long Beach. She stated that her hometown was very art-based as it had many art galleries and museums. I believe this had quite a lot of influence on her decision to pursue a career in art. The works on display in the exhibit range from taking one night to a few weeks to complete. Furthermore, I was very surprised when Ashley stated that most of that time is spent on planning and not actually on the work. Her art pieces revolve around a process called printmaking. This is a very versatile process because Ashley said that it allows her to easily choose her approach to an art piece based on what results she wants. This is evident from her works on display that resulted from a variety of printmaking processes such as lithographs, etchings, mono-prints, or screen-printing. Ashley further said that screen-printing is her favorite one because it is the quickest and simplest one. In the end, I was able to learn many new things about printmaking and enjoy some very amazing art.
For my fellow classmate interview of my twelfth week of art class, I had the pleasure of interviewing a cheerful lady named Leah Bloomfield. I learned that she lives in Lakewood which is fairly nearby to the school and that she graduated from Lakewood High School. Because of this, she has a short commute of only 10 minutes to and from campus to her house. Upon further conversation, I found out that Leah is a 4th year health science major, a major that she enjoys greatly. She later clarified to me exactly what the major was and I learned that health science does not exactly pertain to healthcare itself, but instead concerned the science, technology, and engineering aspect of healthcare delivery. I found that very interesting and was grateful to have learned something new.
Leah had a wide range of interests. Regarding her health-related major, Leah further aspires to go to medical school in the hopes of becoming a doctor. She even clarified that as a doctor, she specifically wanted to be a anesthesiologist. I was surprised on how specific she planned out her future and how she knew exactly what she wanted to be. Her goals were very clear. Leah’s hobbies included soccer, swimming, and maintaining an online health food blog, a hobby I thought was very unique because I have never heard of that before. As for art, she also liked to paint since she was a child. Leah gained artistic inspiration and further exposure when she went to many art museums in Europe around two years ago. About the art class, Leah stated that she took it because she needed an elective and because a friend was taking it too. Regardless, she enjoys the class as well.
The artist I interviewed for my eleventh week’s art class artist interview was Gabriel Garcia. His works on display in his exhibit named Toxic Masculinity packed a strong message about various issues prevalent in modern society. The art presented was surely a different and an apparently darker approach to art but I feel its importance nonetheless. They deal with sensitive issues such as emasculation, sexism, sexuality, violence, etc. Each of his art works had different meanings and expressions that he wished to convey to the audience to evoke a strong impression and regard to the subject. Furthermore, they can also be based on significant or interesting events that he has experienced personally and felt the need to share or bring attention to. This gives me the feeling that Gabriel’s art pieces can all individually serve as a critique to a problem in the world.
Gabriel began work on all of his art pieces in the exhibit back in January so it took around 3 months to complete. Based on my past knowledge and experiences, that is considered a very short and quick amount of time to put together a whole exhibit as previous artists usually took more time on their works. Regardless, the quality of the art is right on par with that of previous artists. For his pieces, Gabriel uses charcoal grounds with graphite and ink on top with some erasures. Additionally, he employed the use of gray-scale to have a “psychological voice” and to slow down the pace with which we view the art. I believe this is also to create the gloomy and dark atmosphere and emotions that the art works are meant to express about the sensitive subjects they address. Another interesting point is that the pictures on each wall are connected with and relate to each other. Though they may look scattered, this is not the case. This is because the pictures are associated with various ideas, news events, and personal ideas and concepts as well.
For my classmate interview of my eleventh week of art class, I had the pleasure of interviewing Zhen Su who is a second year film major. He picked this major because he loves to produce short movies and digital works. However, we also found similar interests in our culture and heritage as we are both of Chinese ethnicity. Zhen is from Qingdao, China and much to my surprise, he is 27 years old. He looked young in person and I thought he was around my age. Zhen immigrated to the United States about three years ago to study but is not a transfer student. When asked about how he likes it here compared to China, Zhen stated that he enjoys it here and that it was quite a change-up from living in China. Furthermore, I learned that he is currently residing in a apartment near the Cal State Long Beach campus.
Zhen is a interesting guy who was full of surprises and a variety of interests. Since the mere age of six, he has begun tutelage in performing arts such as dance. Zhen even went as far as attending dance school in Beijing at the age of ten and theater school at the age of eighteen for formal training. Additionally, Zhen has also been drawing a little bit since childhood. This information struck me as thinking that Zhen is a very cultured person. His various hobbies range from playing video and computer games (just like me) and watching soccer, with his favorite team being FC Barcelona. This team contained many worldwide famous players that even I was able to recognize and led me to easily understand why that team was his favorite. Moreover, Zhen also tried and enjoyed surfing, something I have always longed to try as well. Zhen takes this art class because it is mandatory to him but he does think the class is cool. He enjoys how fun the class can be as we are all able to view art and meet new people.
The art activity for my tenth week of art class sure hit me as a big surprise. There was no set or established activity. No instruction, no guidelines, no rules, all us. I did not know where to begin as art is such a broad subject until a friend of mine suggested that I relate it to myself. It was a start so I was able to come up with something. That is why for my student choice art activity, I have made with my best artistic efforts a two-dimensional cardboard paper cut-out representation of me. This activity allowed me to get to know myself a little bit better as I brainstormed on how to undertake the project. Nonetheless, it was a great idea to allow us to explore art for ourselves and in our own way and pace. It was a lot of fun and greatly amusing. I believe I did a pretty good job but I’ll let others be the judge of that.
Given a choice to do anything artistic I wished, I hoped not to be generic in any way. I did not want to do any art I consider “traditional art”, such as drawing or painting, because of how common that is and how horrible I am at it. That is partly how I was able to conceive my current idea photographed above. Firstly, I traced and cut out the base outline of a person’s shape out of a piece of cardboard paper. I then followed that up with a cut-out of a blue jacket of mine that I like and usually wear out of blue cardboard paper and outlined the sides and detailed it with a black Sharpie pen. I also love to wear black jeans almost everyday so I cut that out of regular paper and colored it in also with the black Sharpie. Additionally, I was able to exercise my creativity by adding white shoelace strands to stand in for the strings in the hoodie. The facial features were drawn in with said Sharpie as well as the paper cut-out of my black hair. Last but not least, a small feature I added was the iPod I’m holding on my right hand. This serves to describe me a little bit by representing my love for listening to music. After all, I believe music is a form of art as well and I enjoy it immensely.
My tenth week’s artist interview for my art class was of the artist Dawn Ertl. I was able to quickly conclude on how different and amazing her works were compared to those of past artists as soon as I walked into her art exhibit and saw a huge network of hanging fabrics. She states that she puts music in all her art pieces (in the case above, the song used was “Wait” by M83), making her works as unique as her name. This is a feat I have yet to understand and comprehend. Or maybe I can’t because it is her very own interpretation. Only later did I notice that there were quite a few plastic bags interwoven into the masterpiece as well. This is because Dawn worked on environmental issues 6 to 7 years ago prior to beginning her works on art. She took up art on the suggestion of one of her friends and so the plastic bags in the art piece can serve as a representation of the fusion she has created between her past environmental works and art.
The patterns of the art piece in the picture above are said to be based on music notations in the M83 song, leaving me to try my best to interpret it. Dawn stated that the piece took 6 months which seemed very plausible for such a huge project. Furthermore, her entire exhibit on display took a total of about a year to complete. Regarding the colors, Dawn stated that she dyed them herself and aimed for contrasting colors that still went well together. Additionally, she looks at the plastic bags woven into the art piece in a poetic way. Upon further clarification, she means that the plastic bags are poetic in the way that they fly around and drift in the air until falling down or getting caught on something. I believe she thinks this way because its fate is very unpredictable and left to the forces of nature. This exhibit served as Dawn’s thesis and is probably her very last show here.
For my tenth week’s art class classmate interview, I had the pleasure of interviewing Richard Truong. I was very happy to find that he is a freshman and majoring in Business: Accounting. That is very similar to my major which is Business: Finance so it was very nice to finally meet a fellow business major student, which surprisingly seems to me like a dying breed. Most of what I see nowadays are engineering, medical, and science majors so finding a business major student was sure something to get excited about. Interestingly, he and I both share a major similarity in that we’re both not too interested with science or medical topics. Only a select few of such topics can intrigue me but the subjects as a whole are quite boring to me.
Richard resides nearby in Cerritos so he is able to commute to school in around 15 minutes. Otherwise, he would have dormed on-campus just like me currently. As for his hobbies, Richard is thinking about getting back into the martial art sport of judo. That made me think about how I always wanted to learn some self-defense techniques but never actually got around to it. Additionally, Richard stated that he would like to learn how to ride a motorcycle, to which I immediately responded by remarking how cool yet dangerous that can be. Richard aspires to do something related to public accounting in the future but is unsure on what his exact path is. Regarding his exposure to art, Richard has not done too much art when young or even currently because there isn’t much interest in the subject. However, that does not stop him from wishing to get in touch with his artistic side through this class. Though he took this class due to GE requirements, Richard still likes the class because it is relaxing and “chill”.