Wk 15 – Artist “Interview” – Jennifer Watanabe

IMG_20150507_111749_235Welp, this is my last week at the galleries (I’ll probably stop by to check them out in the future, though). This last Art 110 assignment ended with something that made me quite excited. Some animation majors gave us the opportunity to view their work. All of them were awesome. Animation is something that I’m very fond of. I suppose this stems from me watching a lot of cartoons in the past, and I’m also thinking of drawing my own animated music video for one of my favorite songs. Jennifer Watanabe’s work became a visualization of what it would look like if I go through with my idea. Unfortunately, I arrived at a time when the artist in question was nowhere in sight. I’ll still talk about her art, though!

I especially love the drawings of the frame by frame animations. Each still was excellently drawn. There were virtually no inconsistencies between each still. I thought they were done by a computer at first! Jennifer must have taken an incredible amount of time for each drawing, even though the characters in the drawings are pretty basic. I can’t imagine how long the hand-drawn Disney films took! You’d really have to be skilled in the craft of drawing the same thing over and over again.

I also appreciate the character designs in the middle of the picture. I’ve taken art lessons before, and I imagine these to be figure drawings (that is, drawings of nude models) with clothes drawn on, since the poses of the figures are similar to those a  model would take. I must say, she did a fantastic job of drawing clothes on their bodies, especially with these Old West kind of designs.

Overall, I greatly admire Jennifer’s art. As I’ve said before, it made me excited to see the things that go into animation. This has inspired to proceed with my own project. I hope all these artists will be where they expect to be in the near future.

Wk 13 – Artist Interview – Marty Knop

Werby Gallery always seems to deliver the more fascinating art pieces; ones that, to me, stick out amongst the ordinary pencils and acrylics. As I wandered into the gallery, my eyes began to hurt. I thought to myself, Ooh! This is going to be interesting.

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The name of the exhibit alone was enough to catch my attention. It’s called Icosikaihenagon. Knop proves, with this exhibition, that data can indeed be a form of art, or at least called a form of art. He explains in his statement: “To program is to make, furthermore, to program is to make a thing that makes things (data).” He goes on to speak of significance of this relationship between his work and math, that it is “similar to how music is transcribed as musical notation; shapes are best described through mathematical notation.” Simply put, Knop uses computers and math to create his art.

He justifies the existence of such a gallery in an interesting way. Knop says that because there are infinite solutions for infinite math problems, it becomes necessary to have a database for these. Regular patterns, such as the checkerboard pattern, are easy to make, and a little on the dull side. Random patterns are much more interesting. Knop has grouped these patterns together as he saw fit, and the resulting work was what our Art 110 class saw on Thursday.

Marty Knop loves math. It always seems like math and art would never go hand in hand with each other. But one day, Knop saw a fashion show that displayed a piece composed of different geometrical shapes. It intrigued him, and it lead him to pursue the aforementioned project. He informed us, “When you know a lot of math, you can turn it into a lot of different things and make new stuff using it as an element.” I definitely see his point.

Wk 12 – Artist Interview – Piet Eppinga

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This week, I found myself at the Werby Gallery yet again, but this time with Piet Eppinga gracing us with his intriguing artwork.

I am very grateful to Piet Eppinga because as soon as he arrived, he showed us around the room, talking about every single piece in great detail and taking questions. I could feel the passion and enthusiasm he had for his work. It was impossible not to appreciate his vigor, and to be pumped up as a result of this. I also became very fascinated with the meanings behind each piece as he explained each one.

The one that stood out to me most is the sculpture pictured above. It is difficult to see, but it depicts a man and a woman with their child below. I thought it was rather odd that their faces were stuck together. Eppinga explained that the reason why their faces were like that is because he wanted to depict the relationship a man and his wife has. According to him, the two become as one, and they are bound to each other also by their child. What he was talking about clicked with me because the Bible says a similar statement: “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” – Genesis 2:24

Wk 11 – Artist Interview – Patricia E. Rangel

When I first walked into the Werby gallery, I saw these structures I thought were made of stone. Upon closer inspection, I saw that it was all sand/dirt! That totally blew my mind. Truly, any medium of any kind can be worked into a piece of art. I was suddenly glad that I had decided not to touch the structures. They would have all crumbled down, and what a mess that would have been! There should have been a sign or two warning about that.

The one piece that caught my eye was the first one on the floor. Rangel stated that she gathers materials from various places, and it shows here.

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What’s also interesting is that she composed this piece in a geometric, orderly fashion. Embedded within the structures are pieces of wood that looks like it came from a fence. She must have picked these up when she was visiting a farm, or someplace that implements agricultural practices. I admit this piece was far too abstract for me to make any interpretation about it, and as far as I could tell, there really was no hidden symbolic meaning or anything. I asked her about this, and she replied she didn’t have anything of the sort in mind when she made this. However, she does say in her artist’s statement that dirt has the ability to “present vulnerability, failure, strength, and potential” and to “promote change.” This is true. Dirt is… well, dirty, and it is often associated with things one may find undesirable, but plants and trees can also grow in dirt. She goes on to say, “They (the structures) are composed of dirt I reuse, each time rebuilt into a new form.” There’s already something really deep in that. Overall, I took away from this display something that may not have been what she was going for, but I’m still grateful to her for making me think.

Wk 10 – Artist Interview – Isaiah Ullo

This week, I met Isaiah Ullo at the Werby Gallery. This display was part of a collaboration between Isaiah Ullo and other aspiring sculpture artists. All of the works exhibited were made of plaster, or had to do with plaster, as Isaiah and his team felt sculpting plaster had become a forgotten art form.

Immediately, when I walked in, the one thing that caught my eye was Isaiah’s shoes.

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Every other sculpture in the room was white, and these shoes were light pink (Isaiah later explained to me that he used Pepto Bismol, which is totally random and weird). Among the pink shoes lined up against the wall were a pair of black shoes.

I was slightly nauseated and unsettled by the pinkness of the shoes. Maybe it’s because you usually don’t see shoes in this color. I actually didn’t notice the black pair because all of my attention was focused on the pink ones. This kept me from analyzing this particular piece.

Isaiah divulged to me that the black pair symbolizes Isaiah himself, and the pink shoes represent the rest of us. During his childhood, he had a hard time fitting in, and this display represents that situation. For the life of me, I can’t determine the significance of his choice to use shoes for the display (I forgot to ask). My guess is that shoes played some prominent role in his childhood.

The other thing that attracted me was a sculpture of a head stretched out. It reminded me of Coldplay’s album cover for A Rush of Blood to the Head. Isaiah explained that he used a computer program to capture a model of his head, messed around with it, and printed it out using a 3D printer (I didn’t think of that!). The head also symbolizes Isaiah’s detachment from the rest of the world.

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Besides plaster, Isaiah likes to mess with hair for sculptures. He is interested in making props and special effects for movies. It certainly would be nice to see actual prop-making return to mainstream movies, as most Hollywood blockbusters nowadays use computers for everything. He has no patience for drawing and painting, which I understand.

Overall, visiting this gallery was an eye-opening experience. I’m more oriented towards drawing and painting, so I was never really interested in sculptures. Seeing the displays here revealed to me more about sculpting, which I am glad for.

Wk 2 – Artist Interview – Chase Wolcott

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This week, our Art 110 class went to visit the Galleries for the first time. I arrived ten minutes late, and after I drew my index card and turned it in, I moseyed into the first gallery I saw without much thought.

When I entered, I was suddenly reminded of my own experiences painting and drawing in a Vision21 art studio in Fullerton. The paintings displayed were similar to the ones I remember hanging on the walls of my old art studio. The subjects and composition in most of the paintings were simple, just people in typical settings. As I looked around, I could not help but think that many of these paintings were only fodder for the artist’s portfolio.

I remember two paintings that stood out to me. In one painting, there was a cop catching someone painting graffiti on the wall. I especially liked how the artist had the cop shine the flashlight on the tagger. In the other, I honestly couldn’t tell what was going on at first. There appeared to be a lion in the background crashing into the wall of an art studio (?) and some nude models and painters reacting accordingly.

I eventually found the artist of the latter painting sitting behind a table outside the gallery surrounded by other students with notebooks in their hands. He was busy answering their questions, so I hovered awkwardly behind the crowd, waiting for it to clear up. I noticed the conversation between the artist and the interviewers seemed to be unnatural. I suspected he felt like he was really being interviewed, rather than having a real conversation. It didn’t help that they were jotting down everything he said in their notebooks. I also had my notebook in hand, but I chose not to use it.

I found out his name was Chase Wolcott, and I related to him my own experiences painting and drawing. He asserted he pretty much went through the same things as me. We both had trouble willing to make mistakes in our paintings, and struggled with perfectionism. Chase said he would sometimes have to make 2-4 versions of the same painting, which made me cringe. I mentioned that whenever I drew on such a big canvas, my subject would turn out really small, since I was used to drawing on printer paper.

As we talked, I noticed we were not that much different from each other. He chose to go along with drawing and painting, whereas I chose not to. If I had continued going to that art studio, maybe I would be where he is right now.