Week 9: Conversation with an Artist – David DeSantis

IG: rapturefineart

David DeSantis is a senior here at CSU Long Beach. His first major was graphic design; however, upon stepping foot in the printmaking building he immediately went to his advisor and asked to switch majors. He transferred from a community college here to CSU Long Beach. He chose this school because it is a top art school on the west coast; San Diego, his home area, did not have much of an art program and the program at Fullerton did not compare to Long Beach. He likes lithography and screenprinting. Aside from art, he likes to listen to Dubstep, snowboard, and go to music festivals.

Out of all the pieces I’ve seen in the galleries this semester, this has to be one of the best. Each piece looked incredible and, simply put, was awesome. The two main pieces I’m focusing on are the samurai head and the wolf mouth. The samurai head seems to have slightly curved lines where the color is missing (almost as if there had been tape down and he painted over the tape and removed it once finished). The lines are very precise, and it seems to use similar shades of a dark red. The wolf mouth is white/grey/black and seems to have a faded feel to it. There are some distinct lines, but much of it blends together to give a vague feeling of the shape. You can see one eye at the top right, but the other eye is not easily discernible, and the background seems to be visible within the mouth and all around it.

He described his motivation for his pieces was often fueled through music. He said that hr would listen to Dubstep whilst creating these pieces; the music would bring about an emotion that he either is currently experiencing or has experienced in the past. He then uses that emotion to create his piece. He didn’t go much into depth specifically as to what each piece meant, but based on the colors and the line usage, I would say that the samurai head is associated with anger and the wolf mouth is associated with a sense of feeling lost. He also has an artist inspiration who is Jackson Paul.

When he said he listened to Dubstep and that was his primary motivation behind his pieces, my ears perked up. When I was younger I enjoyed listening to dubstep and went through a phase for it. I’ve since transitioned on to EDM; however, I have fond memories of where I began listening to electronic style music. It helped me connect with the art and recreate in my head what he was potentially listening to and how the music made him feel. Since he likes to snowboard and tends to fit the general stereotype of a masculine college male, it’s quite possible that the samurai head was simply creating during a song he felt was cool, and he felt the samurai head was simply cool too. I can only guess.

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Week 8: Classmate Conversation

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His website: drewsartblog.wordpress.com

This week I spoke with Andrew. We talked a little bit about the presentation that Glenn made and our thoughts on it. We both expressed how we did not feel in control of our education and thought that the presentation was an eye opener of sorts. This led us to wondering what else might be at the TED talks. We have both seen a couple videos here and there on YouTube about various TED talks and have really enjoyed some of them. Finally, we talked about the presentation about taking a semester abroad from last week. We both found that very interesting and we want to look into it and potentially do it ourselves some time during our college career.

Week 7 – Conversation with an Artist – Andrea Mejia

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This week I spoke with Andrea Mejia. Her piece was featured in a gallery that had many pieces from various different artists in a collaborative style. She is an Illustration major. She originally was a business major; however, she was unable to pass math and thus decided to move to art. Consequently, she’s been creating art pieces for around 4 years. She started knowing nothing and not having much talent, but art has since consumed all of her free time and she has improved her skill through practice. During this time, she has been brainstorming ideas for a comic that she hopes to draft soon. She has been actively working on her comic for the better part of 2 years. The drawing seen above is a character in her comic.

This piece definitely has a “Comic book” feel to it. It’s hard to describe what exactly I mean, other than this is a piece that I would indeed expect to see in a comic book. The piece doesn’t have too much detail, which is in line with many drawings of characters in comic books. It’s very simply drawn and only has the essential elements: nose, vague mouth, eyes, hair, etc. The shirt has very little detail aside from it showing its a collared shirt and there is a shadow on the front portion of the shirt. The crystal-like structure either seems to be emerging from the background or exploding; it definitely portrays the notion that it is somehow rising.

When talking to her about what the piece meant, she said it was a character in her comic. She said it’s about what the characters find and what they experience, which leads me to believe that they find a crystal of some sort which causes them to then have a unique experience from said crystal. She pointed out how all of the characters in her comic are minors. Beyond that she didn’t reveal much, so she likely wanted to keep most of the details a secret so that people would be enticed to read her comic once it comes out, rather than already knowing the details.

I’m not entirely sure what she’s attempting to convey other than the character and crystal displayed are either central to the plot or the main character and/or often referenced. I did notice, however, that the character had both blue hair and a blue shift. I can’t help but wonder if this means that either he, or the story as a whole, is a sad story. She could just enjoy the color blue and think it fits well aesthetically, but I can’t help but wonder if there is another reason for it.

Week 7 – Conversation with a classmate

This week I met and spoke with Duy Vu. The way we came about the conversation was natural. As soon as we got down to the galleries, he and I spoke about one of the pieces in one of the galleries, “Hit Diggity Dog” by Ariana Dena. We both thought the piece was rather funny and wondered how she came to think of the piece. After sharing some laughs, we agreed to then have that be our conversation and then parted ways after getting each other’s phone number. Unfortunately, we did not take a picture together, so we do not have a photo to share. I was going to speak to another classmate but had trouble finding another one, and I didn’t want to leave Duy SOL, so I decided to keep with this conversation. Picture of the piece we were looking at below

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Week 6 – Art Gallery Story

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*Awesome Painting*

*Carmina Correa*

Paper canvas

2017

CSULB School of Art, Gatov East Gallery

 

Millions of years ago, humans used to inhabit Earth much like they do today. They had begun discovering technology, much like we have today. New technology for skyscrapers was being discovered, allowing engineers to build taller and stronger buildings than before, new medical discoveries were consuming news headlines as scientists were unlocking the secrets to genetically modifying organisms. This all came at a cost, however.

With peace prevailing among the many countries and technology advancing at an increasing rate each year, humanity became relaxed and content. There were no foreseeable threats. There were no wars, no fighting, and technology was allowing humans to become more lazy and not having to do much of anything anymore. Crime was essentially nonexistent. This is what led to the first extinction of humanity.

Scientists had just began transitioning from smaller animals to medium sized animals with lab testing. They had successfully managed to double the size of a rat and were going to attempt the same to a dog, they decided to start with a Shibi. At first it was a massive success, it went just as planned; however, upon testing the genetically modified Shinzo with an unrelated modification not see how it would affect an already genetically modified Shibi, it went wrong. The Shibi continued to grow at an alarming rate, doubling in size every hour, and managed to learn the ability to shoot deadly lasers out of its eyes. The creature quickly broke out of the lab and began attacking the nearby city. With no means of protection, no police, military, etc., the creature moved from city to city destroying humanity bit by bit until no one remained.

Week 5: Automatic Drawing

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So this experience didn’t exactly go as planned. We originally started on a table and tried to listen to some sappy music, but that didn’t work. We then spent like 20 minutes trying to wait for the unpasteurized to move but it never did. We quickly talked and decided it would be best to just move our hands and let them go in a direction they wanted to go. After a bit, we thought it would be fun to do two more loops while pressing hard: once with the crimson color and once with the light blue color. It was funny because my roommate came in half way through us sitting there and thought it was a relationship strengthening exercise, but when we told him it was an art project he said we should of just lied and said it was what he suggested. Overall, it was fun to just listen to music and relax for 20 or so minutes, and then just draw in a random fashion.

Week 5: Conversation with an Artist – Joshua Thomen

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IG: voyezmessouvenirs

He is a third year student here at CSU Long Beach. He originally lived in Pasadena before coming here to Long Beach for school. He liked the SoCal feel, so he decided to stay here in order to go to school. He’s always liked art as it was an excellent way of expressing himself, which has always been very important to him from a young age. When applying it was between graphic design and art, but he sees art as for yourself where as graphic design is more for other people. He is a junior applying to the sculpting program.

The work is cute ceramic animals stuck inside blocks of cement. They are arranged in a way that leads you to the left hand side of the room, and restricts your mobility to he left corner, unless you step over them. From there, there is a light wind chime sound playing, and the lights are only on the cement stones, leaving the majority of the room behind it dark. The blocks were mostly smooth, except for some of them being rough, sort of like a sidewalk.

These pieces were mainly about balance with a meditative-like atmosphere. The dark area behind the pieces and the windchime music was meant to relax you and put you in a meditative-like state of mind. The ceramic pieces are seen as cute, or “feminine'” which is meant to balance out the rough/industrial cement, or “masculine.” He said this is a political piece as he started working on this around the time of the inauguration. He used the space and the structure of the cement pieces to form a sort of constriction on walking to see who would stay within that “wall” of sorts, and who would step over them and go behind.

He never went into the reasoning for wondering who would go behind his wall and who would stay within it’s boundaries, but given his statement that this is a political piece, I can’t help but wonder if it has any connection to Trump’s wall. Also, I wonder if it’s sort of a psychological thing, to see who is more suggestible with boundaries and staying in their “comfort zone,” and who is more bold and willing to explore. I also felt a strong sense of balance in the room. The strong cement was balanced by the soft lighting and the feminine ceramics. The music felt comfortable with the dim lighting.