Wk 13 – Artist Conversation – Carmina Correa


Artist: Carmina Correa


Media: Sculpture

Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Dutzi Gallery

Carmina Correa is a CSULB undergraduate student who is working toward her BFA in the School of Art’s Sculpture Program. Some of her interests include professionally playing video games such as Overwatch and Player Unknown Underground. Some of the ideas that her work explores is the focus on the relationship between sugar and diabetes, and the way it effects our bodies and our health.

Formal Analysis: In terms of the formal qualities of the exhibit, there were various materials used such as real food and candy such as ramen and lollipops. There was also a sculpture piece possibly made out of clay in the IMG_8485middle of exhibit.  The lollipops that were spread throughout the exhibit had a blood glucose strip inside each of them. There was also another set of lollipops at the beginning of the exhibit that had each single lollipop featuring a letter or number that is part of the chemical name for sugar. In terms of the lines in this piece, there isn’t really clear lines in this piece. It features more shapes like the similar lollipop shapes and the odd shaped stone sculptures in the middle of the exhibit. In terms of the colors in the exhibit it featured mostly red from the lollipops and in the middle features grey and a bright green. In terms of the rhythm of the piece it has a constant rhythm in terms of the lollipops because of the way they are equally spread around the room in their own stand with the same color and strip inside. In terms of the scale, the materials within the exhibit were small in scale, both the ramen and the lollipops. But the sculptures in the middle on the other hand were a medium size. The texture throughout the piece looked smooth except for the piece in the middle that looked powdery.

Content Analysis: In terms of the ideas behind this exhibit, it focuses on the harsh consequences of sugar on the human body. In my conversation with Correa she IMG_8488discussed that she herself was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, so her relationship with sugar is complicated. She wanted to demonstrate through each of the strips within each lollipop how many times she needed to check her blood glucose level throughout the semester which is symbolized within each lollipop which is the color red. In this exhibit, the color red is a symbol of blood and passion. The symbolism of blood relates back to the way it effects not only her, but others who have diabetes. In terms of the ramen in the exhibit, Correa wanted to continue demonstrating another food that is also harmful to our health which is ramen. She discussed that as college students we tend to eat foods that are cheap and easy to make, and at times these types of food are not always the healthiest choices. In terms of the mysterious sculpture in the middle of the exhibit, she discussed IMG_8490with me that one of the sculptures is a mold of the other sculpture which is supposed to symbolize her body. One of the sculptures is seen as a whole and the other seems broken apart and powdery  which is a symbol as to how her body feels on the inside. She also discussed that the color green of that broken down sculpture is a symbol of the digital and of life. Overall, Correa wanted to emphasize to those who see her exhibit to take or see it however they want because each persons relationship or understanding of diabetes is different.

Synthesis/My Experience: In terms of the overall exhibit and how it resonated with me, I feel that I have a better understanding of the problems that those who have Diabetes have with sugar. I think as someone who does not have Diabetes, I might have taken for granted how easily I can consume what I please without any dire or immediate consequences. On the other hand, those who are diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes aren’t so lucky, and eventually have a positive and negative relationship with sugar. They may love sugary foods, but they know that in the end it will effect their body and their health. It also resonated with my life because when I was younger I would always see how often my aunt had to test her blood, and I would help her. But I never realized till now how impactful the relationship with Diabetes is when it comes to sugar, and how it can really impact a person’s life.


Wk11 – Artist Conversation – Yujia Gu


Artist: Yujia Gu

Exhibition: Tracing Gun Violence in the USA

Media: Mixed media

Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Dutzi Gallery

Website: yujiagu.squarespace.com

Yujia Gu is a CSULB graduate student who is working toward her MFA in the School of Art’s Graphic Design. Yujia is from China and she is a third year at CSULB. Some of Yujia’s interests include shopping, listening to music, and going to various museums. Some of the ideas that her work explores is the focus on having more control of the usage of guns, and the effects of gun violence in terms of the many school shootings in the United States.

Formal Analysis: In terms of the formal qualities of the exhibit, it features materials andIMG_8335 media such as the videos that are projected on the wall and television screens, a LED display, headphones, and a large plastic poster that features various photos of children. In terms of the graphic design media of the exhibit, there is images on the walls of people going across the bottom of the whole exhibit. There is also a large image that features figures of people, guns, and words in black put together in the shape of a gun.  The colors in the exhibit that are shown are black, white and red. The only shapes that are shown in the exhibit are the black and red figures at the bottom, the figures that make up the giant gun on the wall, and the shape of the USA that would appear  on the wall from the projector. On one side of the wall there is also the list of some of the names of the children who lost their lives in some of these shootings. The exhibit also featured videos of the various locations where shootings had occurred, specifically shootings that involved children. Their is rhythm in the piece in the way it is organized neatly and each unique piece of exhibit seems to flow nicely with the main idea of the exhibit. In terms of texture, one texture that stands out is the plastic poster that is hanging in the exhibit.

Content Analysis: In terms of the ideas behind the exhibit, it focuses on the intense reality of mass shootings in the United States. As I spoke with Yujia, she discussed that she focused on shootings involving children because people seem to have a stronger impact on the dangers of guns when it involves children. This is key to understanding the ideas behind the exhibit because Yujia wants to emphasize how dramatic these shootings truly are. She is from China, and when she came here her mother was hearing how international students were being killed. And because of these news stories she was IMG_8347scared for Yujia living in the United States. These conversations with her mother about her safety and the shootings is where Yujia drew inspiration for this exhibit. In the exhibit, there is a feature with various figures across the exhibit from Canada and another line of figures from the United States, and the only one that goes around is the one from the United States. This likely represents how more people are killed in the U.S compared to another country such as Canada. The videos that she displays and the photos of the children also provide the message on how these shootings happen in various spaces with different children whose lives are lost too soon. The LED Display also provides more emphasis back to the idea on how often these shootings occur by providing the date of the most recent shootings and the amount of people that were killed. Yujia also features one of the conversations that her mother had with her in Chinese with a English translation by Yujia herself. Her mother speaks about the dangers she sees in the United States and how she is worried for Yujia. I believe that with this part of the exhibit she demonstrates her idea that gun violence is truly dangerous and abundant to the point that her mother is constantly worried about her. For this exhibit, Yujia wanted to make it clear how many shootings there have actually been in the United States, and how society needs to take in these events and have stronger gun control to reduce the shootings that occur every day.

Synthesis/ My Experience: In terms of the exhibit as a whole and how it resonated with me, I honestly felt that it relates closely to my life because of where I work. I work in a afterschool program with elementary school kids. When I stepped into the exhibit it hit me pretty hard especially the images of the children and the fast paced video of all the locations of the shootings and once again the children. It almost made me cry knowing that these shootings happen at random and that it takes away innocent lives. I saw the children in this exhibit, and it made terrified knowing that it could happen at my school. I wanted to push the idea from my mind, but the scary reality is that many of the locations where these shootings happen which is presented in Yujia’s exhibit do occur in California. I know that these situations do occur because of people possessing guns, and this exhibit goes along with my perspective and opinion that their should be higher gun control to prevent tragedies like this to reoccur on constant basis.




Wk7 – Artist Conversation – Andrea Mejia


Artist: Andrea Mejia

Exhibition: Ink 18

Media: Printmaking

Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Dennis W. Dutzi Gallery

Instagram: @MacnDrees

Andrea Mejia is a CSULB undergraduate who is working toward her BA in the School of Art’s Printmaking Program. Andrea is from Downey, CA not too far from Long Beach. She is going to be graduating in the Fall of 2017 from CSULB. She wants to get into the comic book industry. Some of her interests include watching anime, drawing and creating digital art, and working on her comic book. Her favorite movie is “Wolf Children” and loves the anime “Attack on Titan”. And the ideas that her work explores revolve around ideas of minors and how their minds work.

Formal Analysis: In terms of the formal qualities of the work the print is silk screened although it looks like it is painted. The silk screen is on square white paper, and has various lines. The crystals in the image have jagged edges to symbolize the crystals behind the character. In terms of color, this work exemplifies the colors blue and bright green. Because of the black background the other colors in the piece stand out. The color blue is used for the character’s shirt, hair, goggles, and hair. Meija also used blue for the shadows on the clothing and on the character’s face. One color that also stands out in the piece is the red/pink in the goggles. In terms of the scale it is a normal size print although the artwork itself only takes some of the space of the paper. The texture I believe appeared smooth due to it being paper for silk screen. In terms of the overall image, it appears a bit jagged in terms of the crystals, but has smooth lines in terms of the character in the artwork.

Content Analysis: In terms of the ideas behind this artwork. It comes back to the ideas of the developing comic by Meija. The name of the piece is called “Infinite Cities”, and focuses on a world in a developing comic book about minors and crystals. In my conversation with the artist, she described the core synopsis of the overall comic book focusing on minors supporting each other when they realize that they are actually slaves. It also focuses on the concept that these minors in the story have to give up things they have for these mysterious crystals that they encounter. This art piece is not meant to have a political message, but just focuses on the creativity of a comic book in development. The character that is in the piece of art is called “Alex” or “Alexander” and he plays a role in the comic

Synthesis/ My Experience: In terms of this piece, I feel that the ideas of this piece resonate with me because of it being part of a developing comic book. I am very drawn to comic books or anything related to them beyond the scope of the superhero theme. And to see this piece of work relates back to how I wanted to make a comic book one day. Personally, I could relate a lot to not only the piece of art, but the artist herself and how her inspiration to create a unique world and story relates back to my life and ideas. In terms of the story behind the art, I feel like it is something that resonates to my perspective on how minors at times don’t know what they have and are not grateful. And I believe that this story can easily demonstrate that because they have to learn to give up things they are attached too. This action of giving up on something would possibly lead them to continue living and to fight for their freedom. Although this reality might not be real in reality, when times are tough a situation of giving up can come up in a minors life.





Wk5 – Artist Conversation – Joshua Thomen


Artist: Joshua Thomen

Exhibition: Still Here

Media: Mixed Media

Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Dennis W. Dutzi Gallery

Instagram: @voyezmessouvenirs

Joshua Thomen is a CSULB undergraduate who is working toward his BA in the School of Art’s Sculpture Program. Joshua is not from Long Beach, but the Pasadena area. He had discussed that as a child he had enjoyed watching cartoons, anime, and loved anything that was cute. These interests and what brought him joy is also reflected in his work. The ideas that his work explores is the ideas of feeling trapped, taking a political perspective on the feeling of being trapped, innocence, and the topic of queerness.

Formal Analysis: In terms of the formal qualities of the work, each cement piece looks almost identical. Each of them are the same size, and are the same color. From the front each cinderblock features a unique figurine. From the back however,img_7788 the figurine is not visible. Each of the blocks of cement are straight and have the same lines. In each piece, what stands out is the figurine that is trapped within each piece. These pieces varied from different colors ranging from black to pink, and were different sizes. Some were almost as big as the cinderblock that they were trapped in, and others were smaller. There was only one piece of cement that featured two figurines, but they were identical pieces. The pieces were also distinct in what they actually were. The figurines were bunnies, cats, dogs, a chipmunk and a clown. In reference to the art piece as a whole, the rhythm seems to be the same in terms of the repetition of each figurine being trapped. However, although that may be the case, I realized that some of the figurines were not centered. Some of the figurines were near the edge of cement instead of the center. The figurines in each piece were also either perfect in the middle and straight or a bit slanted or to the side. It is also important to note that the way the pieces were positioned was in a s-shaped form. In terms of texture, the figurines seemed to be made of porcelain, making the texture look smooth. The texture of the cement appeared to be rough and bumpy, the complete opposite of the texture of the figurines. This exhibit also features the sound of wind chimes playing in the background providing a soft and peaceful feel to the overall piece. The lighting was also soften by the thin fabric that was covering the source of light.

Content Analysis: In terms of what was on Thomen’s mind in creating the piece, he wanted to make a big emphasis on the feeling of entrapment. His ideas surrounding this piece focused on the political aspect of America at the moment. In terms of the context of politics, the cement seems to represent the struggle of how politics seems to strain a person. Thomen wanted to put into a physical form the img_7785feeling he and others in America feel with how the presidency turned out to be. He took the innocence of the figurines with the cement to show that even within America right now we feel very weak and frustrated knowing how trapped we feel. His ideas also wanted to capture masculinity and femininity. This is shown in the way that typically figurines, such as the ones he used, are figurines that your grandmother would have in her house. This then gives the representation of femininity. In terms of the cement blocks, they on the other hand are tough and rough, which then represents masculinity. The idea trying to be demonstrated here is the balance between masculinity and femininity. The way that Thomen positioned the blocks was also trying to press the idea of a type of wall. This wall reference is in connection to the constant talk of the wall during the Trump presidency. In terms of the lighting and the sounds, Thomen wanted to provide a domestic feel with the wind chimes and a dreamy affect with the low lighting in the room.

My Experience: After viewing the exhibit by Joshua Thomen, I realized how much of an effect it had on me. When I first entered and read the description and took in the exhibit as whole with the sculptures, the lighting, and the music, it ultimately made me shed tears. To me the artist’s ideas were exactly the feelings and emotions that I am currently feeling in this political climate. As I took in the message and looked at the innocent porcelain figurines, it hit me personally and I fully understood what he was trying to express. As he was speaking about the exhibit and experiencing the exhibit, I knew that the way I felt everyday with how politics are going in America is how he felt as well. The way that we feel so weak, frustrated and ultimately trapped because we don’t know what to do or what we can do. His perspective on America right now is how I feel as well, and I feel that his exhibit clearly demonstrates that with just subtle sculptures which express so many feelings.