Wk. 5 – Artist Conversation -Katia Swihart

Katia Swihart is an art student at Cal State Long Beach.  She is a visual artist and prepares like a method actor would.  To prepare she will meditate and then channel self-induced emotional states.  For this one she channeled rage and grief, and used suppressed anger from her childhood and from continuing relationships to help her choose colors and composition.  She uses everyday objects in her sculpture based art and they all hold personal value to her.

Katia uses her art to help tell her narrative of her life.  The works in the gallery included parts of her life such as jobs and moving throughout her college career.  Many pieces of her completed works include things from her home, comics, crafts made by children, and random fabrics that all remind her of her childhood.  She seemingly places them randomly on paintings and sculptures and then purposefully blurs the lines between the paintings and sculptures.

The work of art in the gallery that caught my eye was the mattress in the middle of the room.  I noticed that it was ripped in many places and had lots of colors thrown onto it.  This obviously drew my attention to it instantly as I entered the room.  When I got closer I noticed that in the rips on the mattress there were bits and pieces of comics.  I recognized a few that I had skimmed over when I was younger at book fairs in elementary school.  I thought that was very cool to see and thought it was interesting that she was using them to make art.  Then, I also noticed the rainbow colored parachute on the back of the mattress.  This also reminded me of elementary school because we used to play a game using one where we ran underneath and had to try not to get caught underneath it.  These aspects of her art made me more interested in it because it was something that I felt I could relate to at first glance.

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Wk. 4 – ACP

I chose to send my ACP to my friend Garrett who recently transferred from CSULB to USF.  I wanted to send it to him because he is my best friend and I don’t get to see him all the time like I used to be able to.  I think sending an ACP is similar to sending a snapchat because it is getting the opportunity to share something that you stumbled upon with a good friend.  The only thing that makes this different from sending it in a snapchat is that I won’t be able to get an instant response from Garrett right after I send it to him.  I think that almost makes it better though because then the anticipation to hear back from him gets to build for a couple of days until he receives it.  I believe that ephemera is precious because it does gain value over time, even if it doesn’t gain monetary value over time.  Also, I think that art seen by few and art seen by many is one in the same because the main reason it is being made is for the person making it.  Not as much for the people who are going to see it.  The items I included in my ACP were a couple of pictures from when we were younger that I stumbled upon on my laptop when going through old pictures and then a project that I made for him in a photo class that I took in high school of one of his favorite classic cars.

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Wk 4 – Artist Conversation – Josh Vasquez

Josh Vasquez is an art student at CSULB.  He says that because of this, a lot of his art tends to be more “assignment” based.  Something he really wanted to do this these works that he was creating was to finish them without getting any feedback beforehand.  Josh wanted to do this so that he can really see how far he has come with his own voice.  All he wanted to make his art and exhibit it, and not have any critiquing in the middle of that process.

This pieces that he created were inspired by Los Angeles sunsets, which he used to pick his colors for the paintings, and Los Angeles county as a whole.  The base layer of his paintings contain stand-alone phrases of poetry that Josh said he wrote about Los Angeles by imagining that it was a lady.  Then, he would use basically the same colors of paint that he used to write the phrases to cover them up; similar to the process used to cover graffiti in cities.  He actually even wrote the phrases in different styles of graffiti in his paintings.  I thought this was very interesting and found it very cool when I really looked at the paintings and noticed that I could actually see some of the graffiti written phrases through the colors on top of them.

I found this art that Josh made very intriguing and eye-catching when I walked into his gallery.  I really enjoyed the colors he used in his paintings, and those colors are actually what first caught my eye when I was walking into his show.  Then, after being drawn in by the colors of the paintings, I began to really look at them and started to see the phrases underneath the paint.  It shocked me at first and then I realized that I actually thought it was really cool.  I was amazed that he was able to make it so that the phrases could actually be at least partially read behind all the painting that he did on top of them.

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Wk 3 – Artist Conversation – Mimmi Haddon

Today we went to the art galleries to view some works by a couple of different artists.  One of the artists there was Mimmi Haddon,who has a master in fiber arts, and creates her art using t-shirts.

One of the pieces of art that she created was extremely interesting to me, because it was something that I would never imagine could be made using t-shirts.  I didn’t get a chance to find out what the piece was officially supposed to be, but it looked like a solid pole leaned over at an angle with a circle at its base.  This caught my attention because when I think of t-shirts, I do not imagine them making a solid structure.  I would like to find out more about that piece and figure out how she was able to make the t-shirts stay together and stay in a solid shape as they were.

The art that she was showing today was made my cutting up shirts and then sowing them together in ways that she saw fit to create organic forms.  She started with 100 t-shirts on this one and actually decided to buy more and ended up using somewhere around 300.  Her work caught my eye at the gallery because she uses many different colored shirts to create her art so it really makes it stand out.  Also, she creates very large works that really catch you attention when you enter the room.

What this gallery of works meant to me was that things that one person considers old and trash, can actually end up being beautiful and a work of art for another.  Mimmi’s art showed me that everything that is old is not always necessarily useless, but can be used to create something beautiful.  It’s like that old saying, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”

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Week 2 – Landscape With a Corpse

I found this project that we did this week very interesting.  I have never thought about taking a picture and setting it up to be a situation where I was dying.  Normally pictures are about being alive and having fun so I found this to be an interesting switch up for what pictures usually are.  I came up with this idea for my picture when I was looking at my friends car and realized that because the bumper is at a perfect level, I would be able to slide under it and hide part of my body from the camera.  I think it turned out pretty well.  I’m excited to see what else is to come in this class in the future.

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