Week 14 – Interview with an Artist – Troy Rounseville

This week I had the pleasure of entering the craziest gallery exhibition yet by the great Troy Rounseville.

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In talking to Troy he had high hopes for where his exhibition would go not only in its creation but beyond.  He does hope to tour around with this exhibition and I definitely feel it would be a smash hit.  What I found amazing was that this was completely his creation.  Granted he admitted he had help from friends but he painstakingly put every piece together from the wiring to the music to create the wonderful works presented to the students of CSULB.  So without further adieu, it is my pleasure to feature a few parts from this wonderful exhibition.

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Upon entering the exhibition you hear an eerie and uneven soundtrack coming on from time to time and featured around the gallery.  Troy chalked up the magnificent work to simply putting in time in classes to learn the wiring of it all to get everything to work so perfectly.  The instruments featured here would begin playing themselves at different times for a few seconds to coincide with the musical soundtrack already being played.  This totally freaked me out! But I loved it nonetheless.  Perhaps my opinion has a bias because I am a musician and that is where my heart is but I felt the idea was truly original.  I definitely felt an over all dark tone from the music and the way the instruments were positioned.  Perhaps this was the only way to get them to work with for electrical reasons but come one what is more dark than a hanging piano?  The bass drum was the worst/best though. The deep sound came out of nowhere assuming you had been in the gallery and not yet heard it, as I had not.  It definitely caught me off guard but immediately a scene played through my head with the music and drum as a background and story teller. I loved it.

Also featured was a record player which I could only assume was partly providing the eerie soundtrack for the exhibit.

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Like the other pieces, this one would play itself periodically and contribute to the macabre.  I love the look because I am a sucker for vinyl but also because it contributes to a dark old timey feel which always makes things more creepy right?

The subsection of the gallery was a claustrophobic cube that was magnificent.  I will admit I had to come back to the gallery with my boyfriend just so he could experience it.  So here it is, the wonderful, terrifying cube:

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Now unfortunately it does not look like much because I could not capture the cube and really, it is a cube of mirrors I am not sure how anyone could but you get the point.  The room is small with mirrors and lights everywhere and a speaker playing creepy music every so often.  Fortunately the door was kept open because I am pretty sure I would have had a major freak out if I was enclosed in this cube of madness.  As scary as standing inside was to me, it was mesmerizing because my reflection is just that great…KIDDING of course.  It was so mesmerizing possibly because there a very few times any one of us would be enclosed by mirrors and further more, rooms of mirrors like to play tricks on the mind.  Thankfully this was a cube not a maze.  I felt it contributed to the gallery by being its own dark corner of insanity.  The musical aspect came in here because it was played and even echoed a bit in the box.  Or maybe it did not echo I do not know because I was submerged in the madness for the minute or so I was in there.  I think this work showed the great artistry Troy possesses as well as his ambition.  The idea seemed truly original and worked well with all the works featured. Kudos to you Troy! To see more of these works or Troy click on the tags!

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Week 13 – Conversation with an Artist – BFA Exhibition

This week, CSULB’s finest put together a collaborative show of magnificent work from talented artists. The result?

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“Post Synthesis” showcased many amazing art works from drawing and painting majors at CSULB. I was especially drawn to works that had intense color or used color in a way that felt significant so two pieces stood out to me.

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This first piece is a wonderful rectangle of chaos. I’m always a fan of chaotic art so this piece had no trouble bringing me in.  I love the prisms falling in the image simply because I love the shapes. What makes this piece really great in my opinion is that you have order because the shapes are so neat and the colors are demure yet you have disorder because the shapes are different in many ways, such as size, and they are all falling. However I could be wrong perhaps they are floating up but my first impression is a drop from the sky. As for the significance in color, I admire that the colors seem to match. I’m sure there is a complicated theory to the colors being complimentary to one another but from my perspective I feel no color is out of place and the colors chosen are calming because they are not overly intense and they do follow a certain order.

The second piece I love I’m sure you will too:

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How beautiful is that? I love this scene even if just for that beautiful moon. Upon further reflection I feel like that may actually be a setting sun but my first impression was that it was a mokn because the rest of the work looks, to me, like a night sky. I like the though it is a moon because I feel it makes the picture seem all the more dramatic. Although I don’t know the artist was going for this, this image reminds me of Native American culture. I could see the peaks in the image resembling ancient homes and even the choice in depicting the landscape a certain way seems like symbolism which is very prevalent in Native American culture. I love the colors because they are intense. That celestial sphere is so alluring I could just gaze at it for an eternity. I also admire the beautiful dark colors that canvas the rest of the landscape. As I mentioned I feel it bares resemblance of a night sky. I think the lines represent ripples of a lake and I like the concept of mixing pattern with non pattern. I feel it gives this image many places for the viewer to look and you definitely will not see just one thing in this painting

I saw some truly marvelous art featured this week and I commend all of these ambitious artists! To see more from this exhibition, click on the tags and do some exploring, you will not be disappointed!

Week 12 – Conversation with an Artist – Angie Samblotte

This week I had the pleasure of walking into the lovely home of Angie Samblotte and Lacy McCune.  Or at least it felt like it when I walked past a welcome mat into “Taking my Time in the Paradigm”, an exhibit by the two aforementioned BFFs.

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The exhibit was filled with works by the two ladies whom are actually best friends and you definitely feel at home with the pieces within the Dutzi gallery walls.  When talking to Ms. Angie Samblotte you realize this is the goal and they have hit it spot on.  Angie explained how her’s and Lacy’s goal was to encourage viewers to take the time to slow down and appreciate life and all the little particles of it that go on unnoticed.   This gallery featured a few very “homey” pieces and I am going to feature two of my favorites.

PUN ALERT!!!

First we have Engrained which I could love simply for the title alone but the artwork is pretty cool too:

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At first glance you see a row of bread which on its own is just great.  Seriously love the pun and love the artistry in the bread, or should I say artisan BA DUN TSS.  Each individual slice is beautifully crafted and together makes the perfect loaf.  On closer inspection you see hands engaging in an act that Angie revealed was simply a game of Pattycake which is pretty much engrained in everyone’s childhood hence the title of the work.  I did not understand the connection between Pattycake and bread until Angie explained it was simply to connect the grain to the Engrained which was pretty cleaver.  I like how there is growth from one end bread to the other and I think there had to have been lots of patience to get each slice just right.  I feel a sense of home with his piece because I grew up with both aspects as Angie said so I cannot help but remember being young and making school sandwiches (or being 18 and making work sandwiches) as well as playing hand games with all of my friends.  The message here is sweet and nostalgic and I think the girls accomplished it just so.

20141113_111148 Here we have Daily Death which features a leaf floating to its death by the stomping of a shoe.  Though it is a bit hard to tell from my camera quality, the leaf is sketched but the footprint is quite real.  I loved this piece because for starters it is quite simple.  While there is always meaning to art, this is quite straight forward as leaves die daily and get stomped on daily voila.  This connects to the urge to slow down though because these “daily deaths” go by unnoticed day after day.  Granted we cannot have a funeral for every fallen leaf but we can appreciate the beauty that leaf had in life and in death.  This show strongly urges us to pay attention to all that we ignore and this piece is a prime example of a beauty gone to waste because we are too busy to see it.  I love how the pages are displayed to look like an actual leaf falling and I love the real footprint.  I feel that it makes the piece relatable and conveys a strong message to pay attention to your human footprint.

Lastly I must give an honorary mention to this piece because I love the idea behind it.  Angie and Lacy as best friends got pages from their sketch books and recycled them to make a piece together which I just think is so sweet.  So the artistic result of these ladies’ struggles and successes can be seen here in Sketchbook:

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To see more of Angie Samblotte’s work, click on the mccunesamblotte tag, visit http://www.angiesamblotte.com/ or follow her on http://angiesamblotte.tumblr.com/ and stay tuned for more lovely work to come.

Week 11 – Artistic Conversation – Romina Del Castillo

Week 11 has brought a change in titles of artistic blogs!  I decided to say artistic conversation because there are galleries where the artist is not yet present to take questions, there are some that simply will not have artists because of the nature of the exhibit and even if it is a conversation with myself or with you, the reader than it is a conversation yes?  Maybe I am just making a plea for you to consider this a strong blog despite the fact I was not able to talk to the artist herself at any rate I hope you will enjoy my conversation 🙂  This week, the art I used for my conversation was that of Romina Del Castillo which shows off some mad charcoal skills!

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The Golden Shower

Before I go any further I would just like to say I barely figured out how to wrap text around a picture so I apologize for not having done this sooner!  To continue, this piece is titled  “The Golden Shower” and I am a big fan.  I love anything that is religious but is not.  By this I mean you see a nun and a crown of thorns which are both religious things but this was not created to be christian or catholic or anything which is pretty cool.  I can see that the light is the “golden shower” of the piece but other than that this actually takes effort to figure out, I would very much love someone well versed in art history to explain it all but I am going to go ahead and take a stab at it!  Well I think the thorns can show suffering as Jesus suffered during his crucifixion.  A baby can mean something new, like an idea that has just been born.  As for the nun, perhaps she is just any religious figure whom society has decided is worthy of wearing a crown of thorns.  There has been plenty of negativity towards religious figures and clergy men over the years which has bolstered lots of distrust towards them and their churches.  So perhaps the baby is the new generation and this generation has decided to make these figures pay for all the wrong that has been done.  That is one thought however, the colors of the image do not seem to match my description.  They are not very dark or intense so they do not convey negativity.  I do not understand the choice in colors and I would like to.  Still this piece is magnificent  though.

Coffee and TV

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This piece is actually a little over my head.  I understand how the colorful page is the TV because it looks like a screen you would see during a break in communications on a TV.  I also get how the woman could be the coffee drinker.  I do not understand though why the two images are separate.  I feel there is not connection between the left and the right and that it is simply coffee and simply TV.  I would really like to know why Romina decided to present this as so.  I do like the contrast between left and right though.  You go from dark and dreary to bright and colorful.  It is ironic though that is brightness is actually symbolic of bad news from a TV because it is the image seen as bad news occurs.  I would just really like to see more of a connection though.  However the woman on the left is looking towards the TV and maybe that is simply it.  She could use some color in her life and she can only find that outside her window, as the outside of her window has color, or through the TV.  That theme I just realized is important to the creation as well.  You have a woman facing a choice we nearly all face, that is whether to go outside and enjoy the natural world or glue or faces to a TV.  This woman is looking to TV so maybe that is what has caused her dreariness.  BOOM MIND BLOWN! To be mind blown yourself, click the tag delcastillo to see more art and learn more about the creator herself!

Week 10 – Conversation with an Artist (Sorta) – #Sculptured

This week I chose to showcase a gallery that did not have an excited up and coming artist waiting outside to interview.  For this reason I will simply blog about the pieces I took pictures of however I would like to say that if I could I would like to have met the artists because I absolutely love sculpture work and I think the artists that took part in the gallery (titled #Sculptured) did an amazing job! So without further ado, here are a few pieces from #Sculptured:

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I Really Wanted these Centered but WordPress was not Being my Friend

So let’s start with the one on the left!  I especially loved this piece because it seemed like an illusion.  The sculpture looks as though it were fluid running over shapes such as what appears to be the letter: D.  I am quite fond of anything that tricks the eye which is why this piece caught my attention.  The creation reminds me of a thick fresh can of paint being poured over shapes to create this artistic mess.  I really admire the details on this because seriously I can only imagine how long it took to get the piece so smooth it resembles fluid.  I fought the urge to touch it so hard!!  I would love to see the effort put into this piece because I am sure it was a plenty!  I feel the choice of using the color white was intentional as white can convey so many things.  In this piece I feel white is maybe representative of purity as this mess becomes this clean and pure piece of art. Why the D though I may never understand.  I do know that this piece is D-lightful though!

Now for piece number two.  I know what you’re thinking: how expensive was this to make?! Well when you find the answer let me know because I too am curious! But talk about effort and attention to detail! Looking at this piece in person, every penny was so meticulously placed in the exact right spot and the end result looked quite frankly really cool.  I admire that there is a specific order to the placement of coins such that you can see the piece as having layers, not just stacks of coins.  I really am curious as to how this was put together and how heavy this is.  This sculpture gallery was so hard to keep my hands off of (but I managed).  I will admit though that I do not see a deep or profound meaning in this piece.  I have no doubt that there is one however I did not see more than a beautifully crafted block of shiny pennies.  But perhaps there is a reason to using pennies so shiny or layering them so, this reason is what makes them art.  Knowing the ‘why’ behind this piece or not,  I do appreciate all of the work put into it and I think the results came out really amazing.  I would put this in my living room if I am fortunate enough to live in a fancy house some day!  To conclude my blurb of the week I will say that #Sculptured was a pleasure to walk through and these artists deserve some serious kudos. To learn more about the art or artists click on the tags and have fun exploring!

Week 9 – Conversation with an Artist – Cynthia

Week 9’s student galleries showcased  many lovely artists among them was Ms. Cynthia Lujan.  Together with Jesse Minott her work was a part of an exhibition titled “Forms in LA”.

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‘Nuff Said

Speaking with Cynthia, she wanted to take away from the natural skin color by choosing abstract colors for the people she painted and I loved the idea.  I feel the abstract colors are most felt in “Wheelchair” which portrays to young children in a bright and brilliant green.

20141023_111446 “Wheelchair”

The colors work to show shadow in the faces of the little ones.  I felt the color green was a good choice because it lifts the piece from feeling sad or solemn.  I also feel green represents play and life which again helps the painting feel light despite the serious look on the children’s faces.

Cynthia also mention how she wanted the characters to feel familiar.  I felt this was most accomplished in “Penis Envy” where Cynthia painted a woman staring longingly at someone or something.

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“Penis Envy”

The woman looks of average body and her face evokes strength.  When I saw the painting, the woman reminded me of an enduring mother.  She definitely looks like someone I might know.  Though Cynthia used abstract colors, her form was very realistic which helped portray the familiarity she was going for.

Lastly I asked Cynthia why the title of the show was”Forms in L.A.”.  She replied that she wanted to get the feel of LA in her paintings.  She considered long beach to have an “L.A.” feel so she drew from the city rather than go visit Los Angeles.  Though she did not actually visit the area for her works, her paintings did have an urban feel to them.  I found this most evident in “Eat My Shorts” where you see a skate boarder sitting and also staring off.

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I feel the glasses and hat of the man definitely show the “hipster” attitude that has become a staple of the L.A. resident.  The skateboard shows a gritty urban look and what is the City of Angels if not gritty? I definitely get the sense that this character rides the streets of Los Angeles always looking this hip and cool.  Overall I felt Cynthia’s pieces tied in well with the title of the exhibition.  I also see a lot of depth in them which makes them quite marvelous in my book.  TO learn more click the tag cynthiajesse and enjoy!

Week 8 – Interview with an Artist- Helen Werner Cox

This week I had the pleasure of viewing wonderfully detailed prints by Ms.Helen Werner Cox at the the featured student art galleries at CSULB.  Helen’s work was featured among other artist’s prints as well but I was especially drawn to hers because of the mass amounts of detail she put into her work.

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Helen Werner Cox’s Sketch of a Model at the Beach

I have always appreciated any work that an artist goes above and beyond to show detail in and Helen Warner Cox does just that.  I asked her why she decided to use a lot of lines in her work and described how they gave her work form as opposed to perhaps ordinary shading.  Ms. Cox  was very happy to discuss how the process was difficult for her as it took mass amounts of focus and detail to create the images featured in the exhibit as they are more focused and exact then her own personal projects.  She found though that she could do so much with this sketch simply thanks to the model herself and the beach she was sketching at.  Because the model was larger, Helen was able to really push herself to explore a focus on cross-hatching and form.  This was a new level for Helen and she was happy with the results.

I asked Helen if she preferred working with the alive as opposed to perhaps a photograph and she does.  She feels she can see so much more sketching from a model than a photograph and it is evident in her work.  One can truly appreciate the depth of her sketches through the cross-hatching as it conveys a beautiful solemn image of a soul lost in thought on the rocks.  I also applaud the proportions Helen gave the model because, as far as I can tell, they were spot on.  The sketch looks as though it were a black and white photograph with added detail, not like a sketch of a model with perhaps one really long arm, or one tiny head, which is quite a feat worth celebrating!

Lastly I asked Ms.Cox why she took one of her sketches and used to different color schemes for it:

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Same Sketch, Different Colors

Ms. Cox merely explained she was experimenting with print-making.  Theme-based work and printmaking were both out of her comfort zone so she decided to go beyond her limits and see what she could create. The results? Beautiful artwork conveying the human form.  However more important than my own opinions of her work, were hers as they showed her own passion and struggle to create through new mediums so I asked Ms.Cox if she like the results of her work. I am happy to say she most certainly did!  She admired the fruits of her labor and wishes to continue experimenting and I hope her experiments may end up in the galleries again simply so I could have the pleasure of talking to Helen one more time.  To learn more about her, or her work featured this week, click the csulbprintmaking tag and be mesmerized.  Helen also has a website featuring her work including those I showcased and many more! To see more beautiful artwork, go to http://www.helenwernercox.com/ ! 🙂