Wk 13 – Artist Conversation – Nick Bamford

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Exhibition Information

Artist: Nick Bamford
Exhibition: Untitled
Media: Mixed media – Ceramics, Wood, Plaster, Found objects, Cement, Foam, Installation
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery East
Website: Artist has no website at this time.
Instagram: nickbamf4d

About the Artist

Nick Bamford is a fourth year CSULB undergraduate earning his BFA in the Ceramics program. He is very passionate about art, as evidenced by his difficulty to pinpoint any of his interests that are unrelated to art. Although he has always enjoyed creating art, Nick first came to the realization that he wanted to keep making art in his high school ceramics class. Nick enjoys building and creating things. In his art, Nick enjoys exploring with various forms. Accordingly, his favorite artist is Pablo Picasso, a pioneer in Cubism. Nick says that Picasso has inspired him to combine various forms, especially figurative forms.

Formal Analysis

Nick’s pieces are beautiful and jumbled integrations of various lines, colors, and other formal elements. The integration of various objects in the pieces allow them to convey a multitude of forms. All of Nick’s pieces prominently showcase sharp, straight line in their heavy integration of light sticks that jut out from the sculptures. Many of his pieces also integrate sinuous line, especially in their integration of circular shaped objects, such as a fan, skull, and wheels. Bright, neon colors are especially integral to the mood of the pieces, as they vividly highlight the various random objects of the sculptures. Overall, these various elements of the pieces contribute to their jumbled yet organized feel.

Content Analysis

Although the artist asserted that he does not have a specific message he is trying to convey in his pieces, he emphasized the significance of the objects used in his pieces. In creating his sculptures, Nick used found objects that hold special meaning to him and to his life. He explored taking various items from various contexts and creating new forms. Nick also emphasized the importance of challenging himself and his abilities. In crafting his sculptures, he aimed to challenge himself by creating smaller-scale pieces, and by bringing new artistic meaning to black lights, in which he featured his pieces. Ultimately, Nick’s pieces were fueled by his desire to challenge himself as an artist.

Synthesis / My Experience

I really enjoyed Nick’s sculptures. I thought they were so unique and truly unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. I love that he utilized unconventional media, such as random objects and black lights, and gave them new artistic meaning and life. Although Nick’s motivation behind creating his sculptures seems very personal, I found my own meaning in his pieces. I feel that the random objects and the jumbled nature of the pieces were very symbolic of life. I also felt that the vibrant colors that lit up the pieces were symbolic of the beauty that is found in random objects and, ultimately, in life. I love the idea that the objects in Nick’s pieces are so personal to him, and have meaning that is not revealed to viewers. Overall, I really loved Nick’s art and I feel that his creativity and desire to challenge himself is greatly expressed in his pieces.

 

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Wk 10 – Artist Conversation – Ja’Rie Gray

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Exhibition Information

Artist: Ja’Rie Gray
Exhibition: My Complexion
Media: Oil paints, canvas, charcoal, paper, panel
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery East
Websites: http://jariegraymycomplexion.weebly.com http://jariegrayblackface.com/JG.html
Instagram: Artist has no Instagram at this time.

About the Artist

Ja’Rie Gray is a CSULB graduate student in the Drawing and Painting program. Ja’Rie is from Los Angeles, and has been creating art since she was five years old. However, she feels that artists can and should always learn more about their craft. This is why she is passionate about pursuing her college art education. Ja’Rie finds immense inspiration from her own culture and life, particularly her childhood. Her art beautifully conveys these inspirations, as well as social messages tied to them.

Formal Analysis

Ja’Rie’s My Complexion exhibit is a very cohesive collection of images that powerfully convey the same message. They emphasize this message through their formal qualities, particularly color, line, and rhythm. Perhaps the most dominant feature in the majority of Ja’Rie’s pieces, as well as a major component in portraying her exhibit’s message, is color. Ja’Rie’s pieces, which feature a variety of African American women mostly against bright colors and geometric patterns, utilize color to the emphasize the beauty of their subjects. The rich colors of the women’s skin tones, which serve as the main theme of the exhibit, are enhanced by the bold and brightly colored backdrops and elements. Also notable are the geometric patterns and shapes that are intermingled with the women in the pieces. Perhaps also serving as an element that provides emphasis, is the line found in these geometric patterns. The organic, sinuous lines and curvatures of the women’s bodies are emphasized by the sharp angles of geometric patterns. Ultimately, all of these elements provide each of the pieces with a sense of rhythm, from their contrasting colors to their variously shaped, intermingled lines.

Content Analysis

Ja’Rie’s exhibit aims to showcase the discriminatory attitudes of cultures towards skin complexion and race. Her pieces convey this social theme through their portrayals of both the devastating impact of discrimination, and the beauty of skin tones. The use of bleach as a key theme in her pieces showcases the devastation that results from discriminatory attitudes, and awakens viewers to this highly relevant social issue. The bleach represents the inability to accept one’s own beauty as a direct result of discriminatory perceptions of skin tone. Ja’Rie’s pieces also showcase the beauty that contradicts the misguided and false beliefs that dark skin tones are less beautiful than light ones. The portrayal of African American women in rich color and organic line against bright colors showcase their immense beauty. In evoking all of these feelings, Ja’Rie aims to elicit reactions of complexity from viewers, in which they feel both devastated from discriminatory attitudes, and enlightened to the beauty of skin complexion.

Synthesis / My Experience

I truly appreciate the artist’s beautifully crafted work, her immense technical skill, and her willingness to convey such a personal message through her art. I feel that Ja’Rie will be, and has been, highly successful in her mission to empower viewers by showcasing the beauty of skin complexion. Her pieces powerfully convey the harsh and discriminatory attitudes of many cultures towards skin color. The use of bleach as a major theme in her pieces evoked a very strong, sad reaction from me. However, her absolutely beautiful portrayal of African American women in their natural bodies and skin tones made me feel happy, as well as appreciative of people who are able to see and draw attention to such beauty. I love Ja’Rie’s ambition to showcase the beauty of all skin tones, and I think her work is exemplary of how successful she will continue to be in fulfilling this ambition.

Wk 8 – Artist Conversation – Bri Joy

Exhibition Information

Artist: Bri Joy
Exhibition: Merge
Media: BFK Paper, Ink, Stencils
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery East
Website: Artist has no website at this time.
Instagram: bri.joy

About the Artist

Bri Joy is a CSULB undergraduate pursuing a BFA in Printmaking in the School of Art. Bri comes from a small town where she was surrounded by nature, wildlife, and a strong sense of community, all of which are concepts she is inspired by. She is also greatly inspired by themes such as past and present, and the value of bonds and relationships. Bri describes her art as being figurative, as she likes to manipulate lines, incorporate figures, and create movement and conversation within her pieces. Bri’s hobbies and favorite things to do all involve being outdoors, in naturalistic environments.

Formal Analysis

Bri’s interest in incorporating and manipulating various lines is very evident in each of her pieces. Merge is a collection of extremely line-centric pieces. Bri’s pieces incorporate a wide variety of line shapes and styles that come together to create images that are both organized and ‘artistically messy’ in appearance. The most prominent lines featured in her pieces are sinuous and undulating, as they curve around each other to form images and complex patterns. However, her pieces also incorporate sharp lines that form boxy shapes and borders. In addition to line, her pieces also heavily incorporate a contrast between black and white. Her pieces showcase black lines against a white background, white lines against a black background, and some showcase both. The media used in the creation of her pieces contribute to the conveyance of these formal qualities. The ink offers a stark, beautiful contrast to the large, white BFK paper that offers a foundation for a grand presentation of the images. The artist is evidently very successful in creating her vision of pieces that feature movement, as well as incorporate elements that create a ‘conversation’ between the piece.

Content Analysis

Bri’s pieces very successfully explore the idea of vastly different elements co-existing with one another. More specifically, her pieces were inspired by the stark contrast of her life in a naturalistic environment with her life in a heavily industrialized city. In her pieces, Bri hopes to convey the idea that she is both the person who lived amongst, and loves, nature, and the person who now lives in a busy city. Her pieces successfully present in this idea in their elements that both contradict one another, and seamlessly converse and create fluid movement. Bri’s heavy utilization of sinuous and undulating lines conveys the idea of concepts merging together. Also notable about the lines in her pieces is that some were organically created, and some were computer generated. These two types of lines represent nature and industry, elements that both play a significant role in Bri’s life. The black and white color scheme of Bri’s pieces also serve to convey this stark contrast.

Synthesis / My Experience

I really love and appreciate Bri’s artwork. I think the concept of her pieces is very genius and beautiful. I love that her exhibit is so personal, and conveys a lot about her feelings and who she is. Although I cannot relate to feeling geographically and culturally displaced, as I have lived in the same place my entire life, I can definitely relate to feeling torn between two things. In the same way that nature and technology both conflict and co-exist, I feel that my child self and my adult self are both vastly different yet equally apart of me. Although created with a specific concept, I think that Bri’s pieces are universal in theme and open to interpretation. I can definitely see my nostalgic feelings reflected in the organic, simple lines, and my current ambitions reflected in the modern, computer generated lines. Overall, I felt a strong connection to Bri’s pieces and I greatly appreciate Bri as an artist for being able to create connections between her pieces and her viewers.

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