Tag Archives: gatov-west

Wk14-Artist Interview-Yireh Elaine Kwak


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This week I got to have another conversation with an artist who I had previously interviewed and loved her art work.  This interview was more of an insight as to what Kwak had in store for her future.  She had one art piece, which she is photographed up above.  Her piece was part of the art show, Liminal, which is the senior painting/drawing BFA show.  She explained how all her classmates came together and collaborated 1-2 pieces of their artwork to produce this wonderful art show.  The fact that she came back to the gallery and was open to talking to students about her work this semester shows her passion for what she does.  I really admired her enthusiasm and desire to answer questions and engage in conversations.

Kwak began to give an insight into her personal life.  She said painting came to her as a natural instinct when she was very young.  Her talent in art began as a hobby, then became her passion.  Kwak mentioned how majority of people who are into art are very different.  Most of the people who are passionate about their artwork either had something traumatic or very good happen to them.  She explained how she was not an only child, however she felt as if she was.  Since Kwak spent a lot of time alone she used this time to dive deep into her imagination.  She spent majority of her time drawing/painting and creating characters within her artwork.  It was very interesting to learn more about her personal life.  It was also very humbling of her to share her childhood memories with us.  This was just another factor which makes me really respect her as an artist.

The painting she included in this collaboration was a landscape of Fullerton Hills.  She expressed how her goal was to use as many colors as possible.  She definitely achieved that goal and the result was wonderful.  As far as her plans for the future, she was not set on an exact path, but more of a realistic approach.  Kwak is currently preparing her portfolio and plans on attending grad school later in the future.  As a student graduating in the art department, she earns commission for her artwork.  She explained how someone can come and tell the artists what they want and they pay them and it is up to the artist to recreate the piece the customer imagined.  Her advice to all students was to travel any opportunity they get.  Once Kwak graduates she plans on traveling as much as possible!  Overall, I admire Kwak as an artist and wish her nothing but the best once she graduates this semester.


Wk9-Artist Interview-Michael Rollins


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After walking throughout the art galleries, I decided to focus on the one that originally caught my eye.  Since I am a visual learner, vibrant colors and crazy patterns usually get my attention.  The painting was so intriguing I caught myself starring for quite a bit.  These paintings seem to take on their own interpretation for every person.  In my opinion, I felt as though these were long endless tunnels filled with twists and turns and different colors to represent all the different experiences one goes through in their lifetime.  As you can see, my thoughts were running wild and I was so interested to learn more of these attractive paintings.

Rollins’ exhibit was called New Digs, which vividly displays a product of his tension and balance.  His instinctive personality shines through his artwork and represents physical, expressive and animalistic attributes.  He mentions how his artwork always leads to visual pleasure and disruption.  This would explain my long starring and interpretation I created.  Most artists reference specific shows or characters, family members or experiences and display that through their art.  However, what I like most about Rollins is the fact that he does not use reference material when beginning an artist.  To me, this is how an artist should do all their work.  Without a reference, the artwork comes alive and genuinely captures the moment of how the artist is feeling or reacting at the time.  Artwork such as Rollins’ provides perspective for all to interpret on their own and it is truly amazing.

As I mentioned earlier, the vibrant colors are the factor that automatically caught my attention.  Rollins did not mindlessly pick any colors for his canvas, instead he selected specific colors that tie in with each other.  Rollins wanted the colors to connect with the world we live in and also to his own lifestyle.  The lines and shapes painted on the canvas resembled the inside of the body because of how intricate it was.  Rollins began to explain how he sees his paintings as a person would looking into a cell.  He simply gets lost in the anatomy-like stokes and lines he has created.  Overall, this exhibit was very enjoyable.  It was nice to relax and find myself so intrigued in the paintings.  I hope everyone has a chance to view Michael’s art because it will definitely leave a good impression on you.

Wk8-Artist Interview-Brian Davis


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This week as I was walking around the galleries, I heard one of the artists was making juice for the public.  I was automatically gravitating towards a very popular gallery.  Students just kept piling in and I was curious to see what everyone was coming to see.  Low and behold, there was artist, Brian Davis, juicing various fruits and vegetables for the public.  This was nothing i had expected.  Since I began ART110, I was accustomed to viewing paintings, sculptures or photographs in art galleries.  I had never seen anything like this, or experienced this art in action.

I automatically wanted to know why the gallery was set up the way it was and why it was so different from artwork displayed in the surrounding galleries.  Davis stated that he had been here at CSULB for four years and has had three art gallery shows which were all very object based.  He felt it was time to try something new, and thus the Art Hostel was created.  Davis’ main purpose in creating this free and welcoming artistic environment was to create a space for creative people to show off their talent.  He even invited all friends to come and do performances.  I believe this is the most humble way to occupy an art gallery.  Not every artist gets the opportunity to have an entire gallery to themselves and the fact that Davis was sharing it with everyone was truly amazing.

The set up of this gallery was shared with artist Maccabee Shelley.  There were couches and plenty of room to walk around.  It had a very homey feel and extremely welcoming.  On the blank walls there was were projected videos.  One video was a time lapse of the installation and arrangement of the furniture within the gallery.  Another was a time lapse of the visitors that enter the gallery.  While visitors are entering and exploring this gallery, Davis is positioned in the far corner behind a long table covered in various fruits and vegetables and juicers.  He continually juiced all kinds of fruits and vegetables and gave them to his visitors.  I greatly admire Davis’ approach on art and I hope everyone who was present on Thursday’s class got the chance to see his gallery.

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Wk6-Artist Interview-Alanna Marcelletti


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This week I interviewed Alanna Marcelletti.  Her artwork displayed in the gallery is one of the most unique forms of art I have ever seen.  She claims her artwork follows the non-linear experiences of womanhood through a dialog between painting, material and sculpture.  Each of her pieces is unique and has its own personality.  It was so interesting to see how her thoughts of womanhood translated into these diverse works of art.

This has by far been my favorite art displayed in the gallery.  It was very interesting to find out the specific materials Marcelletti used within each piece she created.  There was one piece in particular which had a broken paper plate and Marcelletti explained how it was actually her painting palate she used at home.  Then she went on further explaining how she collects trash from her studio and is able to repurpose it.  Thus, all the material she works with and uses in her art pieces are repurposed products.

In Marcelletti’s artist statement, she describes her interest in womanhood.  In this gallery she wanted to portray the pains she felt when she was in labor for her first daughter.  The chaotic scraps of paper and fabric inside the wooden frame were supposed to represent the pain inside her.  The sheer cloth on the outside symbolizes her skin.  This is such a strong message being portrayed and she did it beautifully.  The closer I examined the artwork, the more detail I noticed.  She even cut up her wedding dress! Overall, this artwork was extremely intriguing.  I wish I had the creativity and talent Marcelletti has.


Wk5-Artist Interview-Dianna Franco


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This week I met the lovely young and aspiring artist, Dianna Franco.  Her artwork in the gallery was called Flux, which is focused on the flow of energy and constant change amongst nature and civilization.  She draws inspiration from the micro and macro levels in psychology and science.  She loved exploring how the inner parts of nature and civilization can affect the outside, as well as how the outer parts of these areas can affect the inside.

During the interview several of my classmates and I agreed that some of paintings seemed to resemble the brain through her choice of lines as the “inner part” of her paintings.  We made this connection to psychology and asked Franco more about her inspiration.  She explained how she was fascinated by the heart and brain and how they have several inner parts in order to function.  Franco was very down to earth and curious to hear our perspective of her artwork.  One of my classmates mentioned that her artwork resembles old abandoned houses with nature growing over it.  To my surprise Franco said she constantly referred to those photographs.  The more and more input my classmates were giving I began to see her artwork from several different perspectives.

Advice to aspiring artists: “Just do art because that’s what you love” -Dianna Franco

Franco did all her artwork on stretch canvas and explained how each piece was a several day process.  She would work on one piece for an entire day then the next day she would return with a different perspective and alter her artwork.  During the interview Franco got a bit personal with us and explained how she took an astronomy class and psychology class here at CSULB, which sparked her interest and led her to the art department.  Although she is creating amazing artwork, Franco said she still is not sure what she plans on doing after she graduates.  Unfortunately that is the honest truth for most of us and the fact that she shamelessly admitted it was very appreciated.  I hope one day you get the chance to meet this wonderful artist.

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Wk4-Artist Interview-Makaila Palmer


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This week I had the pleasure of meeting young artist Mikaila Palmer.  Mikaila is partnered with Rachel Gehrke and they collaborated their artwork to create Odyssey: an intellectual or spiritual wandering, a long voyage.  Unfortunately, Gehrke was not present at the time of the interview.  However, Palmer mentioned how Gehkre’s artwork focuses on the parallels between the ocean and space.  Gehkre has also been intrigued by the mysteries of outer space.  On the other hand, Palmer’s work focuses more on time and space combined with memories of when she was at a certain location.  This form of artwork is known as memoryscape.

The memoryscapes Palmer had created were extremely fascinating and I loved her way of putting ideas together.  She explained how her paintings are similar to bills from all over Europe.  When Palmer went to visit she found the only conversation  everyone spoke was money and currency.  She understood euros and that was her way of communication.  This proves to be true all over the world.   I believe everyone can relate to one another through currency.  Due to this connection Palmer made, she combined her memories of the locations she visited with the design on euro bills.  They are all so detailed and within each painting she includes an obscure painting of the map of Italy.

Most people at art galleries simply believe the artists are amazing and are always praised.  However, Palmer was able to reveal some personal experiences and struggles.  I was very shocked to find out that teachers and professors were constantly critiquing her artwork, which caused her to begin painting to please.  Luckily, she remembered why she began painting and simply created art that she loved and enjoyed as opposed to following a standard set by a teacher.  Not only does she love creating her artwork, but is also receiving positive acknowledgment for it.  Palmer has various art knowledge to share and  you can learn so much with just one small conversation with her.

“If your hearts not in it, people will notice.”-Mikaila Palmer

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Wk3-Artist Interview-Yireh Elaine Kwak



Here we have the wonderful artist, Yireh Elaine Kwak, pictured in front of her favorite piece of work.  Kwak explains how this piece of art work took her the longest to complete.  She spent approximately one whole semester to complete it.  This form of art is called triptik, which consists of three panels and is very difficult to produce.  Kwak mentioned the complications of creating individually strong panels, but still making sure they are cohesive as one.  I personally believe she did a wonderful job, the scenic view across the panels is so detailed and very appealing.

“Painting is a manual art and requires you to be strong.”-Yireh Elaine Kwak

Kwak partnered up with artist, Maryann Gonzalez to create Harmony and Discordance: Conflicting Landscapes.  They combined their artwork to emphasize the tension between urban cityscape and the natural world.  They believe the natural world is under appreciated in todays society.  Due to this belief their paintings focus on urban landscapes.  These paintings are created with oil paints rather than acrylic.  Kwak believes oils are more professional and produce more vibrant colors, although it is more difficult to paint with them.

I found Kwak’s source of inspiration very humbling.  She gets her inspiration from her home and the nature around her.  She currently lives on a hill and has a scenic view of greenery, flowers and plants.  Kwak mentioned how there is a large golf course in her backyard.  Most of these scenic views are portrayed throughout her paintings.  It is amazing how she takes her everyday views and depicts the simplicity of nature around us.  The natural world should be appreciated more and through Kwak’s paintings it is possible.

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