Wk 5 – Gallery Visit – Eve Luckring

While the artist wasn’t there to be interviewed, I took a particular interest in a video-compilation-esque project by Eve Luckring. The overall project is called Junicho Video Renku and is a series of “twelve tone” poems. Each one is roughly two minutes in length and consists of sound and imagery meant to both piece together and shift between different ideas.

For instance the video which features the snapshot above actually starts with a bug of some sort (no idea what it was, but it had a ton of legs and wasn’t a centipede/millipede) walking to the background of fast paced piano playing. Then it shifts to images of the surface of the moon with scary movie esque-noises. Finally it switches abruptly to the image of the luchador toy as a bell is dinged.

The format of the project forces the viewer to think “how is this all connected?”, and then from there the user pieces it together how they see fit, or at least that’s my interpretation of it. It is based off of the concept of renku, a form of collaborative Japanese poetry where participants express ideas in alternating verses. This form of poetry actually led to the birth of haiku, another very popular Japanes poetry style. I really liked this piece because I felt like the “link and shift” almost made it so that there was no real beginning or end. Yet somehow they managed to do it in a way that strings all the segments without being cyclic. I’d like to think that the story portrayed here doesn’t need a beginning or end because it constantly pieces itself and breaks apart at the same ime

Wk 4 – Gallery Visit / Artist Interview – Mitch Springer

This week’s galleries have hands down been the best so far. It was really hard to choose a favorite when the options consist of exhibits like the pink furry wall, amazing glasswork sculpture, and colorful and masterfully disproportional sculptures of people. I eventually decided to interview Mitch Springer, whose work I would say seems straightforward but actually gets more complex on further inspection. Ironically, Mitch himself is the same way. He was hanging out by the table reading a book when I approached him expecting a conversation just about his work yet I ended up with topics such as science and naturally occurring phenomena.

I first asked about how he blended the colors on the above picture (which I’m a fool for not getting the name of) expecting to get back a response about a straightforward painting technique. Instead he starts to explain to me that the color actually comes from the atmosphere of the kiln, the reds stemming from the amount of carbon and the blue stemming from the amount of oxygen. My next question was about the cracked texture, which was interestingly enough done by experimenting with different materials and heat adjustment. The slab against the wall is actually two layers, the back that always stays the same size and the front which actually expands and contracts based on the different rates of temperature increasing and decreasing. The stagnant size of the back piece then forces the front to stretch and eventually crack.

We then talked about his influences and what got him into this medium. He said he’s always liked pottery which then got him into ceramics. He really likes the process of making it and then firing it in the kiln, which then translates to an appreciate for the processes that nature goes through to create stalactites and stalagmites. This ever shifting characteristic also appeals to Mitch because, using his method, he can stop the process when he wants and capture where it is in the process almost as if he was freezing time. For instance in the picture below, the liquid on the hand mold was molten but he managed to rapidly cool it so that the drips on the underside solidified in their current positions.

photo 2

On a sidenote, in conversation he mentioned that his twin brother, Mike, makes compositionally expansive folk music under the name Black Kaweah. My good friend, Andy, and I looked it up, it was phenomenal, and you can find it here on this page: http://www.blackkaweahmusic.com/

WK 3 – Gallery Visit / Artist Interview – Jesse Lubben

This week’s galleries were finally back to the regular schedule, where around four artists that all usually go to CSULB each have a small exhibit to themselves. I’m glad these artists in particular were given the space because they all had works on the larger scale. Furthermore I was intrigued by the mind-warping work of Jesse Lubben, who I had the pleasure of interviewing.

Jesse starts by taking an aimless drive, usually in nature, until he sees something or finds a place that catches his eye. He then walks around letting his camera guide him to what will be the subject of each work, sort of. He then takes those photos, color adjusts them, rips them up, folds them, creates 3D objects with them and rephotographs the new creation. He even goes through this process multiple times sometimes, but it all makes sense in the way that it creates a truly unique and multi-dimensional array of shapes and colors.

When asked about his artistic background, he said he’d been drawing geometric designs since about high school but has studied art at CSULB for three years. When asked about his influences, he mentioned the writing of Loren Eisley, who talked about the geographic history about any one object in any given environment. He says that the Eisley’s writing helps him to think about what went into something as simple as a building being in a certain place. The materials had to all be gathered from somewhere and put together obviously, but furthermore one thinks about the rock used to build the building, and what cosmic collisions and weather shaped the original structure that the rock could have come from. This philosophy is very relevant because Jesse’s work forces you try to retrace what steps he may have taken, bit by bit, and what the original image may be.

Lastly we talked about art as a concept. I love that sometimes the perspective and angles of Jesse’s work don’t make a lot of sense and he said that most good art has some kind of contradiction. He also mentioned that humans have an engrained desire to want to solve things and so his work forces you to appreciate for long periods of time because it’s virtually unsolvable.

Check out his work here: http://jesselubben.com/

WK 2 – Gallery Visit – Evan Trine

This week, GLAMFA was still holding down the fort at CSULB’s on campus galleries. Most everything was the same but this week I was drawn to something a bit more colorful, the work of Evan Trine of Claremont Graduate University.  On the surface it reminds me of what happens to an image after you repeatedly run it through the iPhone’s “Auto-Enhance” filter until the colors distort (I’ll post an example below). That being said, I’m pretty sure Trine’s process is a bit more sophisticated because he mentions that he makes certain adjustments himself based on the color patterns and lines of the image rather than running it through the same process and leaving the result at the mercy of the program and the original image.

He mentions in his artist statement that he wants part of the viewers experience to be influenced by tension and confusion. I would definitely agree that that’s an important part of the thought process for his work because it makes you focus on the abstraction itself and think beyond what the image resembles. For instance, in the work above (The Vegetable Man in the Vegetable Van, 2014, archival pigment print, 40”x60”), I can see that the original image was a structure of sort like a building or a parking garage. After looking at the image for a good amount of time, I interpreted the color spread as representing something more of an aura. I see this structure being consumed by dark energy while the sky cracks to reveal a pillar of light thundering down onto something below. I also see the sky as some sort of grid, entrapping the world’s energy, but not entirely because it seems like the grid itself is deteriorating little by little.

While I’m guess the artist wasn’t intending for that specific interpretation, he wants the viewer to spend time looking at his work to make it an experience. He is always challenging himself to spark a new reaction in the viewer using various combinations and arrangements of color that may or may not be naturally pleasing to the eye. Looking further into his other work not included in the gallery (Animal Noises, pictured below), I understand what he means by this. This piece is my favorite of his because so many abstract representations jump out at you immediately, but it takes time to really decide which representation to fully develop in your mind. Just by the title, one would assume the abrasive and grainy arcs of color represent sound waves expanding, but upon further observation I thought more abstract. Maybe it could represent the phenomena where you can’t necessarily see something yet you can feel its presence, and the presence invokes confusion, fear, or curiosity balled into one. Once again, just my own interpretation.

Check out his GLAMFA feature page here: http://greaterlamfa.com/Glamfa2014/Trine_2014.html

Original / Repeatedly Auto-Enhanced on iPhone, combined in PicStitch
Original / Repeatedly Auto-Enhanced on iPhone, combined in PicStitch
Animal Noises, 2014, archival pigment print, 48”x58”
Animal Noises, 2014, archival pigment print, 48”x58”

Wk 1 – Gallery Visit – Lisa Diane Wedgeworth

Last Thursday I visited CSULB’s on campus art galleries, which were occupied by GLAMFA. The artists featured were of various Cal State universities and mostly from the greater Los Angeles area. I was particularly impressed with the quality and deeper thought that the galleries provoked, especially when reflecting on the fact that the artists were around my own age. Not that I had any doubt about my own age group’s creativity or ability, but it felt comforting to think that people similar to me in some way make great things and I was slightly inspired to think that I can create something as well.

I was particularly drawn to two oil and acrylic paintings by Lisa Diane Wedgeworth of CSULA. They were part of a series of black and white orb-like formations on very large squared canvas with black backgrounds. I think I was initially drawn to these because I had recently attended a concert festival and saw a band called Darkside, whose music is usually paired with visuals of the moon, smoke, circular beams of light and an overall two-tone haziness. As I stared at them more and more, I realized that the orb shape and large size of the paintings really help to draw you in and feel like you’re consumed be the orb’s haziness.

Upon further research, I found her artist statement on the GLAMFA website and she discusses the relationships people have to each other, the psyche, the line between public and private and range of other topics that all connect in some subtle way. In my own interpretation, these paintings somewhat represent the minds interpretations and a person’s feelings as they interact with others and reflect on how things affect them. For instance Celestial Body 2005 (A Big Dog, An Ugly Woman, Two Shot Guns and A Claw Hammer) gives me the feeling that the relationship between the people involved, maybe not specifically a dog or woman, is on the brink of explosion and the orb depicted is a calm before the storm. That may not be what was intended but regardless, I very much enjoy her work.

The first two images are the ones included in the gallery and the third is my favorite of hers that I found when I looked her up. Check out her GLAMFA feature page here: http://greaterlamfa.com/Glamfa2014/Wedgeworth_2014.html

Celestial Body No 2005 QA (A Big Dog, An Ugly Woman, Two Shot Guns and A Claw Hammer), 2014, Oil and Acrylic on Canvas, 72″x72″
Celestial Body No 1963 RA (On the Hands of Each of Us), 2014, Oil and Acrylic on Canvas, 72″x72″
Celestial Body No 1916 XA (He Got Her Drunk First), 2014, Oil and Acrylic on Canvas, 73″x73″