Artist: Samuel Jernigan
Exhibition: Weight of Whimsy and Ideals
Media: Ceramics, Ceramic Paint, and Sculpture
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery West
This week, the featured artist I decided to cover is Samuel Jernigan. First off, Samuel is a graduate student at CSULB in the BFA Ceramics program. His passion is to make sculptures made out of ceramic. He also uses vibrant ceramic paint in his pieces, therefore this is why most of his artwork is very lively and colorful. From what I observed, I noticed he chose to use mostly blue and a darker shade of yellow and pink. He actually mentioned that the reason why he chooses to use ceramic paint over any other type of paint is because the paint does not run or drip down, meaning that where he paints is the part that is actually going to be painted. I find this paint to be the best paint to use because there have been times where I paint something, such as bedroom wall, and the paint just drops and collects into bubbles at the bottom. Other than that, the reason why he likes to create ceramic art is because he finds ceramic an easy way to bring his art to life. I agree with him because it is different to physically mold out an art piece, rather than simply painting or sketching a piece on a flat surface. Not to mention, he has been sculpting for the past 15 years. Although he has been sculpting for so long, he actually took a break from sculpting for 7 years.
Now, what I admired the most of Samuel’s artwork is that his art includes realistic items such as toys for young children. I actually his art a little more easier to understand than other artwork I’ve seen because there have been times where I’m viewing abstract artwork that’s too difficult for me to comprehend and I tend to feel like I’m not appreciating the artwork enough. But, likeside in our discussion abut graffiti on Tuesday, not all art is meant to suit everyone. If something is made, then it is made to appeal to a certain group of people, not just anyone. That’s the beauty of art. Other than that, I also admire the idea that his pieces are inspired by the abandoned toys he finds at the flea markets he visits. It brings joy to me that he sees these toys more than just your child’s toy for a few years or pieces of plastic or fur. He sees these toys more as inspiration for great art waiting to be made. He also loves the idea of bringing the abandoned toys together, thus this is the reason why his showcase was centered around that idea.
The first thought I had when I stepped foot into the Gallery was that his artwork reminded me a lot of Dillon Francis’ visuals in his DJ shows. Samuel’s artwork was very similar to Dillon’s visuals because of the bright colors and playful theme going on. In fact, what caught my eye the most was the piece called “Pigeon Chested In Cut Offs.”
Other than that, I believe that Samuel’s art has the theme of joy and playfulness. For instance, when he created “Pigeon Chested in Cut Offs,” he could have just painted a portrait of the Cookie Monster. Instead he brought his art to another level and gave this piece very large, googly eyes and exaggerated the length of his legs by making them extremely long and his arms very stout. In the other piece, “Unrequited,” I interpreted this a woman that has the mind of a child. I found this very relatable because although as adults, we gain many responsbilities and are expected to mature quickly, I believe that there is always room for one to act like a child.