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”.


‘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.


“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.

“Eat My Shorts”20141023_111325

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!