This week I met Kari Maehara who is also a first year at CSULB. She is also a local, graduating from Los Alamitos High School, she played basketball and decided to dorm. By dorming, she left behind her two dogs and family back at home. She shared that on her free time she enjoys to draw, travel, and run. She loves the summer, but it’s necessarily the biggest fan of the heat waves that have been hitting school lately. Yet, she is getting involved in school and recently joined a sorority. Kari is spending her first year taking many General Education courses as an undeclared student. It was nice to meet her this week.
“How random,” I first thought walking into a gallery room seeing torn, dirty, and old clothing and rugs hanging on the wall. I couldn’t exactly figure out what was art about it. When I looked to my left right across the hanging garments, I see black and white cut out photos. It looked like an abandoned or destroyed campsite. On the floor, there was what looked like pieces of some dirty and ripped foam material. When I put the whole room together, it was art itself. It looked to me like some crime scene. The whole room was put together in a specific order, the photos are what intrigued me the most. It looked like there was some secret hidden behind them and I couldn’t necessarily figure out what was cut out from them. The garments looked like they were apart of and taken from the campsite itself.
From his statement one can assume that this was a place he knew about and personally visited himself. It represents him and where he comes from. It’s usual for an artist to physically portray where they come from and who they are through their art. Others simply represent what they believe in and things they imagine, and that is not necessarily what their story is. This room really caught my attention and I wonder what the real story is behind his recreation of this campsite.
Many are taught not to judge a book by its cover. As well, many are told to expect the unexpected. When people get a first glance at me, they usually think one of two things: I’m very kind, timid, and shy; or I’m very outspoken, sassy, and full of attitude. Either options are fairly accurate, depending what kind of day it is for me. Yet, one thing people usually see is that I’m typically they little girly girl who loves pink, heels and many accessories. That’s only half true.
When I decided to do this, I decided to see how people would see me if I dressed up in Angel gear. Walking out into a sports store, people didn’t really believe I was an actually fan. Probably because my jersey was pink, and the team was recently declared the American League West Division Champs. They thought I was just joining in the hype. In reality, I tried something a little different because I wanted to see if people would believe if I really was an actually fan that keeps up with the team and knows more than the average girl who buys an Angels Baseball shirt from the Pink store. Of course, that failed. When I’m able to name players, describe the rules of the game, tell you the standings and stats of the game, then people believe me. But hey, things aren’t always what they seem.
Art is typically subjective. The artist will interpret their thoughts and emotions into material things. That is when art is born. Yet, Maccabee Shelley does the complete opposite, he does not want a specific meaning or purpose to his art. He wants you to deeply think about what his work means to you. Shelley wants to, “Leave it open to have your own emotions instead of my own.” When people come upon his work, they wonder what it means and where it comes from, there is no specific place where it has a foundation. That is when he wants you to “create a world where my art exist, that excites me more than anything.” None of his art works have a title, that leaves it completely open to interpretation. Shelley explained how he wants someone to “look at my work without knowing what it is” because he wants you to make up your own story about how the art work came out and where it comes from. He loves when people deeply ponder about the meaning and purpose of his sculpting. Many other art works are looked at and do not make sense until you read the artist description and title of the work. After you discover the meaning, the work will disinterest you, that is what Shelley wants to avoid. Although his art’s purpose is completely subject to all the observers’ eyes, he does mention that every piece has its own cultural history. “The glass is very mysterious, fascinating, magical, gorgeous, dangerous, scary.” After working with ceramics for many years, he found glass to be amazingly interesting. He began by playing around with different shapes and became greatly inspired with what it became.
Walking through galleries, I usually become very confused and remember why I am not the biggest fan of art. I always thought it was weird if it wasn’t a “normal” painting. yet, this week was different, I enjoyed exploring Maccabee Shelley’s art. It was different to me, and I believe it has much to do with how he does not title or give an exact explanation of what his art is. Many of his works did remind me of the ocean though, how the colors mixed and it looks like a frozen splash. Immediately I thought it would be something you find at the bottom of the ocean. One that specifically caught my attention was pictures number three and four. I have always been the biggest fan of The Little Mermaid and it reminds me of a specific scene: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E6Du48Nty_U That may be why I loved his art work so much because of how much I love The Little Mermaid. All in all, I really enjoyed the art gallery from this week.
Wondering around the art galleries, looking for a new classmate to interview, I felt so lost. I decided to do the artist interview first, then going into the second art gallery, a stranger walked up to me asking me if I had done a classmate interview. Relieved that I could finish my homework, we became partners. I learned this stranger’s name was Freddy Varela who is a third-year CSULB student. Varela hopes to graduate with a major in Recreational Therapy, although he did come into Cal State Long Beach as an engineering major. He explained how engineering wasn’t exactly what he thought it would be, he described it as hard and boring. Working on weekends, Varela still manages to take thirteen units and is near finishing his Bachelors Degree. Yet, he does not plan to continue on to Graduate school. I also discovered Varela is a local who commutes to school, like me. Yet, he graduated from an averaged sized high school in 2012 that is down the street from Long Beach State, Millikan. He is the youngest of his older sister and older brother, as well as the second to attend college. Unlike me, he loves to watch and play basketball and soccer.
Bills can become overwhelming, especially if you are a college student. Work can sometimes just cover the absolute essentials, but what about leisure time? That is when all your passions and hobbies have to be placed on the back burner until you are capable to afford what is necessary to continue. Fernando Aviles is a college student who also works, but loves photography. Check it out.
On the other hand,
Liquid Project by Aldara Ortega really interested me when I came across her video. Her photography was stunning and I really enjoyed looking at her photos. She pledged for $4,000 and was actually able to reach over $5,367.
First walking into the art gallery, I was very confused. The first thing I saw was what looked like a giant pile of compressed dirt molded into a random shape (second photo). Then looking to my left, I looked at what seemed to be more dirt in different shapes. After talking with artist Patricia Rangel, it made a little more sense. She explained how the shapes represent landscapes and are maps. She told us that the wall art was a map of her small hometown and others are of a cemetery. In one of her works, she describes how within her map of the cemetery, she has a gold link that represents someone, who she once knew, is buried there.
Her reasoning didn’t make much sense to me, I believed her work was fairly random, but she takes it to heart. What I did think was cool was how she takes the dirt from the actual place that it represents. As well, how she puts it together herself. I would think she has much patience to be doing the kind of work she does, because I surely don’t. One thing I did get and fully understand was how she take pride in her roots and where she comes from. Her art works represent people and places that she feels are significant to her life and have made an impact in some way.