This week on Classmate Conversations, I had the pleasure of conversing with Christian Espinoza.
Yesterday at the galleries, I had the pleasure of meeting one of the artists of the Labyrinth, Isaiah Ulloa. The Labyrinth exhibit had a total of three artists and Isaiah worked on three of the sculptures that were in the first room. They all seemed to have a theme of snow or ice. The artists put together a statement that said these pieces were not just individual ideas, but come together and work as a narrative or story.
This first piece was the most interesting I would say because at first I did not know that it was a person laying the snow. Once I got closer I could tell it was a man, but then I looked towards the groin and there was two lumps. I interviewed Isaiah and I had to ask about the two lumps if they meant something deeper or if it was the key to the secret of the universe, but he proceeded in telling me that the man laying in the snow was a 3D model of him and that he has no idea what those two lumps were from, but ultimately had no specific meaning.
The different materials they used were very technologically advanced. To actually have Isaiah lying in the snow, they had this handheld device that allowed them to scan his body and put it onto the computer. The second piece was a face, and it turns out it was also Isaiah’s face too! Instead of using the same handheld device scanner, he took pictures of his face and then uploaded them onto this website program that puts together a 3D model of the face.
For the man in the snow and the face, they used a type of foam, he recalls it’s “open cell foam”. He couldn’t remember the full name, but something along those lines.
Recently we had another spike in weather and I had to ask if this weather inspired this piece at all. He said they worked on it when it was really hot and explained how the temperature of the room and the piece sort of tricks the mind into entering a really cold environment and the person could actually feel the chill, rather than the heat.
The inspiration for the snow face art comes from his interest in prosthetics and special effects in movies, so it was supposed to be a mask, but he wanted to distort it and see what he could do with it, rather than making it into a mask. As for the body in the snow, all the artists were really interested in how they could make the figure and they liked the idea of how technology is evolving in the art world. The face came from a 3D printer, which is a new technological rave. He believes you could do so much with it, rather than what he can fabricate with his own hands. They were really excited to try it out with this piece. Isaiah said that with the foam, they were surprised at how snow-like it looked and wanted to experiment with it. Another thing he thought that was cool was how people would link in their senses and create an actual environment with snow. They asked if the temperature in the room was keeping the art cool, but really it was all fake snow.
It’s crazy to think that we could take all of our senses and put together a real environment with all its factors, but really it’s all fake.
Isaiah Ulloa was the most enthusiastic and friendly artist I have talked to so far. Isaiah’s, Angel’s, and Juan’s work is fantastic and was definitely one of my favorite exhibits!!
For classmate conversations, I hit a deal of two for one with Ryan Wang and Calvin Vo. Mistaking them as high school friends, I found out they met just a week ago in Art 110. Ryan is majoring in business and likes to play basketball in his free time. Calvin is majoring in civil engineering and likes to play volleyball. We were all freshmen so we talked about our first year so far at CSULB and how great it has been. They said that the environment here is very friendly and that they enjoyed meeting new people.
We walked around and conversed about different art pieces and I was impressed at what they had to say. Ryan went to a couple art museums and Calvin was in AP Art History in high school. After seeing a couple of pieces, they both had their own interpretations of what the art meant and we all shared our ideas.
Ryan and Calvin are really two peas in a pod and they seem like great friends! It really nice to get to know them and just walk around the gallery with them.
Thanks for your time!
Right when I walked into the gallery, my eyes went straight to this video installment. It was just an average-looking male, up against a white wall. I put on the headphones and listened to a woman behind the camera, asking him simple true or false questions. After a couple of questions I figured out that these questions were administered as a full mental health assessment test. The woman asked the man if he ever feels impatient towards people in shorts amounts of time or if he ever smells pungent scents from time to time. I realized that most of these psychological questions were very subjective. After hearing some questions, the man would hesitate and tilt his head to think whether the statement was true or false. I was so intrigued by the questions the woman would ask and how subjective they were. Depending on how you would interpret the question or how you were feeling in that instance, would definitely change your answers. He would answer them very quickly and it seemed like there was no time to really think or ask questions about how “pungent” a smell would be or if five minutes would count as a “short amount of time”.
After reading Carter’s artistic statement on the GLAMFA page, he explained that this test was very subjective. In order to focus on his most important issues, he would counter the subjectivity with more subjectivity. He could then pinpoint which seemed to be most vital to him. I thought his methods were very interesting and were very creative. I really liked the fact that I felt like I could get inside this artist’s head through his own psychological tests. It gave it a more personal appeal.
For more of Eric Andrew Carter’s great work: http://ericandrewcarter.com/home.html
From across the gallery, a large, holographic collage of baseball cards caught my eye. Like a moth to a fluorescent light, I was attracted by its sheen. Once I approached the artwork, I realized there was a second piece right underneath. Perched on a floating shelf, a 2X3 baseball card was its own piece. Ironically, its size caught my attention. This baseball card did not give a description or any statistics of this mystery player, nor a face. With a masculine figure and body, his face was concealed with an opaque layer of gold glitter. Honestly, I was stumped with its meaning. After logging onto the GLAMFA website and reading the artists, Abdul Mazid, ‘s statement, I believe I (kind of) grasped his conceptual appeal. Mazid talked about that through his art he tried to convey the idea of two contrary ideas that will simultaneously attract, yet repulse the audience. The glitter had attracted my attention, but its size would normally repulse the spectator. He also mentioned that he used Western ideology, such as the perception of masculinity, as one of his subjects. In this art piece, I believe he tried to portray the perception of masculinity through the baseball player’s body, but countered it with his face completely covered in gold glitter, which is perceived as feminine. Through this contrary juxtaposition, he facilitated the audience to questioning of a topic that was never fully questioned. It’s crazy to think that a whole hemisphere has come up with an idea of what is truly a whole identity of masculinity and what is feminine. Who is to say what characteristics make up a gender’s traits? I really admired Mazid’s message and concept through his simple sized art piece.
For more information about Abdul Mazid: http://www.abdulmazid.com/