What a fun week in Art 110! This week was our painting week and for it, I went all the way to Venice Beach’s free art walls. This was a wonderful experience and I know I’ll be doing it again. I was psyched when I learned that Venice offered this service for artists since, before being told in class, I had absolutely no idea there were public, legal walls to paint on.
In spite of staying up till 3a.m. the night before, I was up bright and early to make sure I had ample time to get to the art walls (I wanted to be there as soon as they opened). After meeting up with my friend Diaz, we pooled our 6 paint cans and got to work. We both decided to draw our names and we had a great time doing it. When starting out, I was very self-conscious about what I was doing. I had no idea how to start and I could tell there were other very serious and talented artists also painting there (who I later found were very kind and helpful). I found however, that as I started to paint, all that left me. In fact, everything left me. I didn’t notice the sun come out, cute girls walking-by in bikinis, or even people stopping to take pictures of my work. This feeling was powerful and relaxing. By the end, I wasn’t completely finished with my work (I ran out of the colors I needed) but I felt very happy with it. It was something done just for me. It may have been my favorite visual medium to create in. I usually draw, but have been much less satisfied with it lately. Spray painting actually felt very natural to me. I loved how the paint reacted on the wall and I found it very easy to manipulate.
When coming to the walls I was sad that my work would not be saved but afterwards I was actually happy it would soon be painted over. Not because I was ashamed of it, but because I felt it made it more special and personal. This was not even a particularly personal painting for me either, so I can only imagine the satisfaction I would get from a more thought-out and meaningful piece.
I had a very interesting time viewing this gallery. Haha While Diaz and I were viewing the gallery together; we noticed a pungent smell which we just wrote off as some smelly building material probably used by the artist. However, when taking a closer look inside the holes of the egg-shaped pieces of art, we quickly took a step back and were shocked. The smell was coming from inside the pieces. Inside of this egg in particular, there was a melon with a large blob of white mold growing surrounded by a thick orange juice. As I examined the other pieces in the room, I was greeted with the smell of rotting yogurt, coffee grounds, and various fruit. Needless to say, I was puzzled until I had a chance to talk to the artist.
When I met Colette, she was half way through a story about her pet beetle. It was obvious I had found the correct girl as most would shutter at the thought of large beetle as a pet. I was however, intrigued. I asked about the exhibit and Colette went on to explain the pieces were a comment on the process of decay and how rotting is a factor that actually unifies most types of animals, plants, and foods. She told of her inspiration for the gallery which had actually been a dead frog she had found while on a walk. The frog had gotten caught out in the scorching sun and simply dried up. It was curious however because the frog had not been touched otherwise. Normally the corpse would have been ravaged by all types of insects or birds, but this frog sit there, untouched. She was then inspired to create this series of pieces.
I really enjoyed the gallery (although not so much the smell) because decomposition has always been a part of nature that fascinated me. It’s so gross and sad to think about, but it’s such a necessary part of dying. It occurs so commonly and in so many ways, but still seems so foreign and taboo to us. I shared stories with the artist telling her of my own artistic pull towards decay. I am often drawn to art involving death. It’s kind of the same appeal that scary movies carry. It draws the attention because it’s something most people are curious or preoccupied about. That’s what I saw in this gallery. It took me out of my comfort zone and I was drawn by that.
This week in Art 110 I interviewed fellow classmate Sam Gold. Sam is a freshman student at CSULB. In his spare time, Sam enjoys swimming. He used to swim on his high school team, however since coming to CSULB, he’s found it difficult to keep up with his athletics due to his bust school schedule. This has been difficult for him because while on the swim team, he kept an intense work-out schedule and now he will go days without having time to get to the gym. Although I’m not particularly fond of the gym, I can see why this would be hard considering how important health is to him. When not swimming, Sam likes to take part in some photography. Although he only uses his phone, he enjoys this creative outlet and it seemed important to him. In addition to just phone shots, Sam has a general love of technology. He says he loves keeping up-to-date on the new gadgets that are always coming out.
Sam is currently a pre-marketing major here at The Beach. He keeps busy between his school work, membership in the American Marketing Association, and pledging for a frat (which he claims is about the work-load of a 4 unit class). Sam needs to keep a busy schedule since he has some pretty sizable goals in the future. One day it is Sam’s dream to work his way up in a large company to the position of Director of Marketing (and when he says “large company” he means like Disney or Apple big!). I think he’s got a great dream and he’s particularly well-off considering he’s only starting his journey there.
This week in Art 110 we were instructed to get an app called French Girls. This app allows you to post pictures of yourself for the purpose of getting another person to draw your picture. You, in turn, get the chance to draw the pictures of others. I was excited about this app because I had wanted to get it, but kept forgetting to download it. I spent a very long time trying to find pictures that I wanted to draw. I didn’t like most of the pictures that people had taken. But there were certain ones that just inspired me immediately. I tried to make my drawings playful and imaginative. I had little interest in drawing the pictures exactly as they were given to me. For one picture, the girl shown was upside down (or at least her phone was) and I thought it would be fun if i put her in space. For another, I chose it because the photographer had just left so much empty space to play with. I tried to show that he seemed he was thinking of more than just taking a picture. He seemed like he would be a nice guy. haha
This week I interviewed an artist at the gallery named Angel. This gallery was a very interesting one filled with amazingly detailed sculptures ranging from distorted faces, to a corpse in snow, to a goat! I was very impressed with the precision that was displayed in each of the pieces. I doubted that they were done by hand, and was very curious to find out how they were created. I found my answers when I interviewed Angel Franco. Although the pieces were done by many artists, Angel was the only artist present at the gallery. He shared that most of the sculptures were done with a 3D digital imaging program that carved huge pieces of Styrofoam into their desired shape. The piece in particular that he had worked on was an imaging of his face that he had distorted on the computer. This sculpture was very interesting to look at because i have never seen a distortion of a person’s face in that style shown in real life instead of on a screen. I found the possibilities of this type of program to be very exciting. The level of precision in the sculptures was amazing and not something really possible by hand. I was very impressed with the works over-all and I will continue looking for new digitally created forms of art. francoulloamartin
This week for Art 110 I interviewed Michelle “The Death” Morte. I have been friends with Michelle since high school. I chose to use this opportunity to get to know her a bit better. Michelle is a film major at CSULB who is currently not pregnant (she said that and O.K.ed it to be in the article). Hahaha Michelle fills her free time mostly by watching tv and movies. Her love of watching movies grew into a passion for film. Upon starting college, Michelle had wanted to study film, but when facing pressure from her parents, decided to change several times through her years at CSULB. Michelle’s dream is to start her own full-service production company. This would involve filming, editing, producing, scoring, etc.
Michelle is from Torrance and is the only child in her family. She says she doesn’t end up missing having siblings much because she lives in a close-knit family with her cousins. By being an only child, she also gets the freedom of being able to have her own space. In her spare time, Michelle likes to surf which she learned how to do while on vacation in Hawaii. She loves to surf in Huntington Beach and Manhattan.
After a while somehow Michelle and I started talking about a cute guy she sees regularly at the gym. She thinks he’s really cute and he’s tall, has a trim build, and is of Japanese and Caucasian racial background. She had this to say, “I don’t know why he acknowledges my existence at 8:30 in the morning when I have no make-up and just rolled out of bed.” Words to live by.http://imichellemorte.wordpress.com/
What a great week for an artist interview! This interview didn’t unfold as an interview so much as a conversation between two abandoned-freely-used-wilderness area enthusiasts. When entering the gallery showcasing Mike Lewis’ work, I felt right at home. The gallery showed images taken in an area of of wilderness located near Mike’s hometown. This area felt familiar to me as I spend much of my time exploring the nature preserves and coastal areas of San Pedro and Palos Verdes.
I began talking to the artist about why he photographed here and he explained that he just became so fascinated with this area. Although the space was mostly empty, he found a huge assortment of groups of people and things telling about the land. Giving it character and life. We discussed how the lack of attention given to these types of wilderness areas serves as an attraction for people who are looking to get away from society. In these wild hills, Mike found and photographed everything from the homeless, to paint-ballers, to industrial waste from the factories that filled the area. This land was not looked on with much favor from society but certain types of people look at this place as a place of release when they cannot be in the midst of society.
Mike went on to also mention the feeling of these more wild parts. He said that there was an eerie sense of danger there. After doing research, he found the area had a dark history. I found that very interesting because I always thought places that were abandoned like that usually had some kind of history that just sticks to it. It was no different in the areas surrounding my house as there had been numerous deaths recorded, constantly signs of drug use (i regularly find syringes and remnants of joints), an element of crime with the many taggers who regularly visit, and the signs of poverty from the tents and sleeping bags left by the homeless.
There is an overall feeling of “stay away” on these places, but for people like Mike Lewis and I, these forgotten areas will always hold a character and appeal.
This week in Art 110, we were told to create an alternate identity and live in it throughout the day. I was not excited about this project to begin with because I looked at the prospect of dressing up to be a hassle. However as the date drew closer, I realized I didn’t need to change all that much of my appearance to do the project. I simply had to behave as a different person. This is when I came up with the idea for Jason.
For my alternate identity I decided I would try to break out of the secluded shell I live in at school. On a typical day, from the moment I leave my car to the moment I come back, I really leave no opportunities for anyone on campus to meet me. Yes, anyone could have walked up to me and talked to me, but I would find myself actually going out of my way to avoid direct communication. As soon as I left my car…headphones in, volume up, good luck trying to get a hello or smile out of me while I was in my musical head-space.
So for my project I wanted to challenge myself to do something that I always had blamed other people for not doing. I would talk to as many people as I could in the day. So from the moment I left my car, I began. I found success right away in the line for the general parking passes in the parking structure. I found out that when I just went into the day with the mind-set of being social and approachable, it just happened. I thought I would be awkward and forced in my conversations but I soon found that I enjoyed sharing myself and partaking in other people’s days. I felt connected with these people because we were all on common ground. It seemed like everyone was waiting in the similar mindset as I was of “If only someone would come up and talk to me.”
People seemed psyched about what I was doing and at some point during the day, I (without noticing) ditched the fake name and simply became Andy again. This was perhaps the most enjoyable part of the project. I realized that in trying to be something different from who I thought I was, I just found a part of me that was dying to get out. This experience has made my outlook on the campus much brighter. I can look at each person I meet as a chance for a new friend and the feeling is liberating.