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.

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