Artist: Megan Macuen
Media: Mixed-media, Fiber
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov East
Megan Macuen is a CSULB graduate student who is working toward her MFA degree in the School of Art’s Fiber Program. She had previously been doing her own art for 10 years. Before pursuing her Master of the Fine Arts degree, however, Macuen had pursued her undergraduate degree in Wilderness Therapy. One of her passions and interests is nature and the wilderness, and had used her undergraduate degree by working in wilderness programs for students with behavioral problems, the elderly, and those with disabilities. Although her interests were focused on nature, she had always had a passion for art, and was drawn by patterns and fashion. Although she does not produce art involved in fashion, it did cause her to pursue her art full time by pursuing her MFA degree.
Formal Analysis: In terms of the formal qualities of the various pieces of art, each piece features it’s own unique qualities. One of the first pieces that I looked at in Macuen’s art exhibit features yarn, wood, and pieces of metal. The different lines of the piece is appealing due to each of the different materials such as the yarn, metal, and small pieces going in different directions. The small pieces of wood that are attached by string in the middle are not going in the same direction, but are freely suspended in air. Although each piece is attached to each other, they are not tight, causing them to be lopsided. The lower rows of wood pieces are also attached by string, but are either short or longer wood pieces. One row in particular is not stringed together the same way, but is left dangling. The metal pieces seem to be placed in odd angles, but sticking out of the piece. The yarn that seemed to be attached near the exiting of the metal pieces are also dangling as well. The shapes of the piece are various and so is the rhythm of the piece. The rhythm of the piece various considering that many of the materials seem to be going in thier own direction and angles. The colors of this piece are around the same color, either tan, brown, an off white and a regular white.
These color schemes also seem to be in the other two pieces in Macuen’s art exhibit as well. The other two pieces are bigger in scale compared to the first one. The one with the small cats and dogs on it, had a different shape then the one with the various strings and wood pieces. In this piece it had different materials such as ceramic dogs and cats at the bottom of a table. There was also a lot more string used, but in a way to restrain the top part of a piece of wood from coming down. Also I noticed that in this piece there was a pink color on the piece, which made it stand out from the rest of it. There was also these square shaped sandbag pieces that made it appear as if it was holding the top part of the art piece. The rhythm of the piece is more structured than the past one with the strings having more alignment with each other. And the last piece almost seems to be in mid motion which is due to the balls at the bottom of the big pieces of wood. The piece featured a thin pole of wood, string or yarn, and some type of cloth. The lines and shape of this piece are different in the sense that only two out of three of the stands is leaning, but the last one is not. The colors are mostly a tan color with no white or brown incorporated in it. The shape of the overall piece is almost identical in terms of the wood square and the poles, and yet the two cloths differ at how much they touch the ground. The piece has various textures from the cloth material, the yarn, and the hard wood. Overall, all these pieces incorporated various materials in different and yet similar ways.
Content Analysis: In terms of what these pieces are about, I would say that their meaning is wide ranging. I say this because I spoke to the artist about the meaning behind creating these pieces and she herself didn’t really know what they were about. She stated that when she creates these pieces she starts off doing one part of it, and it follows where it leads. I found this interesting because typically you see artists with a specific idea in their head before creating it. But in her case, it seems that these pieces reflect how she feels the art is guiding her. Macuen’s thought process for her art is mainly on how her hands are continuously creating the pieces, from the yarn to the various wood pieces. I believe that the ideas that she is trying to explore is the freelancing creation of art and seeing the final product and having it free for interpretation. I believe this because of the statement of how she does not name her pieces. She stated that she was “scared of words” and prefers to not name them. I believe that she honestly creates art because of the joy she has from it and doesn’t specifically think of something such as politics or morals, but ultimately the questions that rise from seeing particular art and the ideas it sprouts.
My Experience: After viewing the different art pieces, personally I believe it means to me the same as it means to Macuen. She sees her art as something that is just continuously being made and she just flows with the rhythm of the creation. When the pieces are seen, they stand out in the sense that it makes you ponder on what the message is. And for me when I see it I can tell that part of the art is the process of how it was made. The way that Macuen makes her art I admire because she seems so free and liberated in the way she creates it. Her way of making art is how I love to do art by just going with the flow of the creative process. Her art resonates with me because I realize that without the restraint of having a particular idea or a message she is able to freely see what her mind and heart wants to make. I think this can also be applied to how I attempt to live my life the same way she makes art. Her art and the process of making art is free spirited and I feel that I am also free spirited in how I carry myself. When I am in the process of drawing or painting something, sometimes I have an idea in my head on what I want to do or what I want it to say. But sometimes the art I draw just comes from a feeling of drawing various lines and shapes and seeing where they take me.