This week I had the chance to interview Patricia E. Rangel and observe her artwork in the Merby Werby gallery.
Her artwork consisted of fine dirt compressed and shaped into molds she creates. Due to the nature of her artwork, her pieces must be made on sight as they may be too large, heavy, or dangerous to move once assembled.
One of the interesting aspects of her art is that she collects the dirt she uses from almost anyplace she travels to, from graveyards and the desert to raches or the side of the road. For exanple, one of her pieces includes a chain nailed to a wall falling into a pile of dirt. And while the dirt itself is from a particular cemetary, the chain links that make up the chain are each in the shape of the entire cemetary as seen from above.
When asked what her favorite part of creating these sculptures was being able to dismamtle them with a hammer.
As she described the process, “it’s a great way to relieve stress,” so much so that peers of Miss Rangel have asked to help out.
This week I had the pleasure of meeting and talking with Nathan Baldonado. Even though he is from Cerritos, Nathan dorms at csulb.
Nathan’s major is in film, specifically in cinematography. When asked what a cinematographer does, Nathan described the occupation as a way of making the director’s ideas a reality. In high school he studied photography and has studied a variety of films. And even though he only wants to be a cinematographer, he has considered possibly directing when he’s more experienced.
Originally a child development major Nathan is also a first year. He has played guitar as well and was in a band. Nathan’s hobbies include playing videogames, watching movies (like Saving Private Ryan) and week land fishing club at csulb. His favorite type of art is realism and conceptual.
This week our class had to create a sculpture of one of our body parts in the sand. As per Professor Zucman’s instructions I decided to complete this task at Seal Beach. Digging the hole itself took less than an couple of minutes as well as getting the sand to mold to the shape of my arm. However, because of the ratio of water to plaster I made the mold took over forty-five minutes to harden. In retrospect going to the beach after dusk was not the best idea, especially with how cold it was but I appreciated the scenery of the beach at night. Once my hand was in the wet sand the sand kept collapsing around my hand because of how much sand I compacted into the hole. If my thumb was not double-jointed I probably would not have been able to keep my mold in place. After the mold finally hardened, I had to be careful in digging it out so as not to damage the plaster. Even though the mold was meant to look a hand giving a thumbs up, the end result was a disfigured fist with two oversized fingers and a tiny thumb protruding from the side.
This week I was able to examine Michael Rollins exhibit, New Diggs, as a requirement for his MFA degree. When discussing his paintings Mr. Rollins made the point of expressing what he felt abstract meant and that was that it can be something different for everyone. To quote Rollins, “It is just a bunch of paint thrown on a canvas but there is some reason to it”.
In his exhibit statement he also states that he does not work from any sort of reference material. I appreciate this approach to artistry because it allows for more people to find meaning and connection to the art rather than drawing from a particular aspect of life that others may not have experienced. He goes on to say that he wanted his art to embody tension and balance in a collision of separate sensibilities. And while I found it difficult to make that connection; what I understood more was that he felt that how he painted was a conversation between what he felt and what decision he made off that feeling. Because like he later says, “it may not turn how I wanted, but I still love it”. Meaning that everything can not be decided before-hand, especially when making art, (mostly because nothing looks the same in someone’s head, as it does in reality) and because I feel this lends itself to life as well.
In my opinion my strongest connection with Mr. Rollins art came through his allusion of his art to a conversation. It is easier for me to find the meaning when I can attach an object to an idea, so when he spoke of having a conversation, I immediately looked at the literal signifier in the art, which to me came through the interlacing lines, and the perception that I felt; of going down a tunnel at each one of his paintings.
This past week I had the pleasure of interviewing my classmate and business major, Cristian Rodriguez. During our conversation he was very personable and energetic. From the start he tried to make me feel good and open up about stuff we had in common.
Cristian is from South Gate Los Angeles and as such commutes to Long Beach. He has 2 younger brothers and 1 older brother. And he has had a girlfriend for the past seven months whom he met in high school. As far as taking Art 110, he says that his favorite art is, “art he can understand”.
In high school Cristian was a water polo player, and since I was in swim, the topic led to a debate about which sport was more difficult. His hobbies include eating, working out, playing video games,and watching sci-fi movies.
As a part of the activity this week we had to draw a cognitive map of the CSULB campus. As expected I had no idea here more than 80% of the buildings were. As it is I have a hard time finding any building or class on campus so it was not surprising that I had no idea where the buildings I never enter were. The only places I thought of were the ones that I visit regularly apart from the Student Health Services. Also this is because I have to walk that through campus to get to where I park.
The building I chose to adopt was the university student union. I chose this building because of the recent expansion project that got voted out. I thought the decision to do so was a poor one. Whenever I enter the building I always see the place overflowing with students. Whether they are studying, eating, or just hanging out, this place is an important and vital part of the csulb community. In many ways its a home away from home. Students can just relax and have some down time, with much more room then they are provided with in the dorms. During my time at soar this is where I really connected with some of my friends because we could simply relax and have a good time.
Now while I do admire the design of the current pyramid standing at CSULB, I chose to redesign the the pyramid for this week’s activity. I do feel that having the pyramid be made of glass is a fresh look on an older design, I am someone who always appreciates the classics. And being that Csulb resides much closer to central America and that many students attending have heritage in that culture I felt that having an homage to aztec empire would be a much appreciated design.
This week our activity is meant to show how we imagine our demise woud be like in 20-30 years. In my corpse portrait I show myself having to much to drink one nigh that leads to me dying of alcohol poisoning.
I originally felt a little uneasy about the idea of showing how I might die in the future. I came to the conclusion about using alcohol as way of me passing away for multiple reasons. My first reason is that in my family there are many alcoholics and it has always been a possible outcome for me to wind up becoming just like them. Second being that many people encounter increasing amounts of stress as they grow up and they turn to things like drinking to numb the pain or make them forget about their problems and unfortunately many times it will lead to something tragic happening.
In the end I felt comfortable doing this picture because i knew that while this a very possible way my life could go; I know that just realizing that this is a possible outcome and knowing ways to prevent it means I have already reduced the possibility of my life ending this way.