Wk 12- Artist Conversation- Connor O’Brien

Exhibition Information:img_4759

Artist: Connor O’Brien

Exhibition: Mentia

Media: Video

Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Dr. Maxine Merlino Gallery

Website: http://www.milipictures.com

About the Artist:

Connor is a current student at CSULB. He is currently living in a city near Los Alamitos with his father the man on the video. As of now Connor is a senior seeking to obtain his BFA in Photography. Connor explains that as a child he was always interested in cameras. He said that he loved to capture nice moments and that there was better way to do it than having them on camera.

Formal Analysis:

When I walked into the gallery I was amazed to just see one video playing. The video was about an older male waking from bed and being fed by his son. The lights in the gallery were dim, the video had no dialogue and there was a low instrumental sound. The sound of the video was of medium pitch only lasting an estimate of about 5 minutes.

Content Analysis:

The purpose of the video, Connor’s work Mentia was to bring awareness on the illness of dementia. In the video it demonstrates Connor taking care of his father who suffers from dementia. Connor bathes his father, feeds him, and helps him do other things. Connor states that his father was diagnosed with dementia about six years ago; however, he has shown symptoms of it for over fifteen years. As a result, he, his brother, and his mother alternate in taking care of his father.

Synthesis/My Experience:

Connor’s exhibition brought a lot of thoughts to my head. In the beginning I thought that the video had no connection with the artists; however, after listening to the artist speak I realized that it was his father. I liked the way that the artist decided to bring awareness of dementia. Seeing his father struggle through the day made me think about my parents and how they will be when they get older. Made me think about who will take care of my parents, who will be there for them the same way they were there for us. The video was very touching.



Wk 11- Artist Conversation- Caryn Aasness

Exhibition Information:img_4692

Artist: Caryn Aasness

Exhibition: To Call Cute is a a Misunderstanding

Media: Fiber, Textile

Gallery: CSULB School of Arts, Dr. Maxine Merlino Gallery

Website: N/A

Instagram: @levelyellowproblemchild


About the Artist:

Caryn is currently a student at CSULB in her senior year. She has been at CSULB for about four and a half year but says is finally going to graduate this spring. At the time she is currently enrolled in the School of Art’s Fiber Program. She says her goal is  to obtain her Bachelors of Fine Art. Although her main focus in art is about fiber she says that she wanted to try something different. Caryn’s passion for wooing came from her grandmother. Her grandmother taught her how to sow. She said that her art work is something out of her comfort zone. Her explanation is to question and make people think on what some sayings actually mean.

Formal Analysis:img_4696

Walking into the gallery i noticed a lot of fiber colors. The art that was created were different sizes but all the same shape. There were 26 different colors on each piece of art going vertical but there was also several going horizontal. Since each drape of colors were woven together they created other different colors such as the mixing of brown and red. On the side of each piece of art there was a card with a lot of squares and each row had one letter. Each letter on each row was part of the word that define the art. As you went down the card there was a say such as “SPEAK UP.”

Content Analysis:

The purpose of Caryn’s work was influenced by her grandmother. Two years ago when her grandmother taught her how to sew she found it interesting. When she decided to begin this project which she called “To Call it Cute is a Misunderstanding” she said it was very time consuming. Caryn stated that this project took her an estimate of 10-20 hours total. She said the project brought impatience to her even though she is a very patient person. She states that part of what her art means is that many people say things that we don’t even what they mean or what they are.

img_4695Synthesis/ My Experience:

When I first walked into the gallery I was a bit confused about what the art meant. After reading the artists statement I was still confused. It was until Caryn explained the art to me. I found her art work very creative and interesting. By her speaking about her grandmother how to sew reminded my of my grandmother making baby clothes. I really enjoyed the work because after analyzing the work I could see the long hours Caryn must have taken to create those different pieces of art. This week, Caryn’s gallery was one of my favorite.

Wk 10- Artist Conversation- Tony Nguyen

Exhibition Information:img_4651

Artist: Tony Nguyen

Exhibition: Neoteny

Media: Medals, Ceramics, Wood

Gallery: CSULB School of Arts, Dr. Maxine Merlino Gallery

Website: None

Instagram: @elll_tigre

About the Artist: 

Tony Nguyen is currently attending CSULB and is in the School of Art’s Medal Program. He is in his 5th year of college and is striving for his BFA. Tony describes himself as 100% Vietnamese and the youngest child of his family. When Tony began college he knew he wanted to major in art; however, he did not know what form of art. He tried illustration and design but said that he was told that he was not good enough, so he moved on. He then began to create other forms of art with medal, ceramic and wood, which he stated had to have a functionality and story behind it.

Formal Analysis:

The art that Tony constructed was fascinating. One of the most eye catching was the “Vending Machine Pending Happiness.” This art work was the most colorful of all. It was made out of wood and medal with different colored plastic containers that contained stickers. The second art piece was the “My Family Bridge.”  The necklace that the manic had on was made of medal. There were also different Tony figures expressing different emotions. For example, there was a aggressive Tony, a hardworking Tony, a cool Tony, and many other Tonys. However, in the back of the manic there was another figure of Tony without color or facial expression.

Content Analysis:

The story behind Tony’s art work was fascinating. Every piece of art that he constructed had an interesting story behind it. Tony explained that as a kid he loved breaking things down and making them functional. As a result he created the “Vending Machine Pending Happiness.” Tony explained that as a child he was fascinated that a quarter can get you so much with only a turn of the wrist. Another reason why  he created it was because as a child Tony did not have a lot of friends so therefore he surrounded himself with a lot of toys. His artwork reflects him buying happiness; however, not in a shallow sense.

img_4654The second piece of art “My Family Bridge” was a touching story. Tony explained that as a child the Vietnamese culture never allowed them to construct a family tree something he has always wanted to do. As a result, he decided to form a neckless with four small bridges, two feet on each and one big bridge with four feet. Each small bridge with two feet represent Tony’s brothers and their journey of life. The big bridge on the other hand with the four feet was designed for his parents. Tony explains that the reason why he used bridges was because when his parents lived in Vietnam there was going to be a war and that there was a bridge that was the only way out of town. People threatened to blow up that bridge, so his parents crossed the bridge before it was destroyed. Tony stated that sure enough, once his parents crossed the bridge it was blown up.

Synthesis/ My Experience:

I really enjoyed Tony’s art work. This has been my second favorite art gallery that I have been too. To begin with the “Vending Machine Pending Happiness” was my favorite piece of art. It brought me so many memories to when I was a child and I would ask my mother for a quarter to get something from the machine. I remember the excitement of turning the knob to get the toy. Now that I look back at my experience its amazing how one quarter can bring happiness to a child. I recall trying to put my little hand in the machine to try to reach more toys, but obviously it never worked. On the other hand, the “My Family Bridge” at first I didn’t find importance to it. However, as Tony began to explain the story to why he created the necklace on the manic-can made me realize how important family is. That no matter how many fights and arguments you have with your family, they will always be there and we should love them. Overall, this was a great gallery. I loved the way Tony explained his art work. He was walking around showing his audience his work not like other artists that sit outside the gallery.

Wk 3- Artist Conversation- Chris Cournoyer

Exhibition Information

Artist: Chris CournoyerIMG_4287.JPG

Exhibition: Inner Demons

Media: Photography

Gallery: CSULB School of Arts, Dr. Maxine Merlino Gallery

Website: Unknown

Instagram: Unknown

About the Artist

Chris Cournoyer is an undergraduate student from the University of Central Florida. Due to the exchange of photographs from CSULB to the University of Central Florida I was unable to obtain information about the author. Nevertheless, I did gain information from and about the coordinator Nicole Goudarzian. Nicole explained that the way in which the photographs are chosen is by a jury that is present at the University of Central Florida. The best photographs are then sent out to different universities. In this case Nicole specifically chose the photographs presented in the Merlino Gallery. Nicole explained that there are more photographs that were sent from the University of Central Florida but they are placed in a different location at CSULB. She explains that the artists sends a statement along with the photographs that helps viewers understand the purpose of their work.

Nicole is a surrealist photographer. Nicole’s passion is to take photos of images that seem to demonstrate an illusion or look dreamy.

Formal Analysis

The image portrays a shirtless male who has two faces. The males face is serious looking straight forward not showing any facial expressions. In one of the faces the male has black eyeballs. On the other side which is the back of the male, the man’s face is normal. In the image there are no out of the ordinary shades that would drive someone’s eyes, however seeing two faces makes you wonder what the artist intentions were when photographing this male.

Content Analyses

In the artist statement, the artist’s intention of the photo is to demonstrate the hardship that people with psychological disorder suffer from. Since most people with mental disorders claim hearing voices inside of them, the artist portrays a man with two faces. The artist illustrates the uncontrollable side (demon side) and the side of where the man looks perfectly fine. In Cournoyer’s statement he also mentions how we “normal” people have demons inside of us. Those demons drive us to do bad things which then affect our personality and how we react to those around us.

Synthesis/ My Experience

After seeing all the photographs on the wall the one that caught my eyes the most was the Inner Demons photograph. I found it amazing how the male was illustrated with two faces. My initial thought was that the photograph was intended to show how people could be deceiving. However, as I looked more into the photograph I noticed that one of the faces had black eyeballs which to me means evil. When I read the artist statement I understood the meaning for why the artist used black eyes and the two faces. I thought it was amazing how the photographer thought of such good idea. I was astonished by how people with psychological disorders such as schizophrenia hear voices and many of them don’t know how to deal with them. This photograph made me realize how many of us may ignore people who suffer from these disorders but it is because none of us know how those people may be feeling. However, with this photograph I feel like I can see the struggle those people may have, how they may be struggling to try to be normal while the other side does not allow them to be.