Artist: Bri Joy
Media: Screen Printing
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery East
This week, I am going to cover Bri Joy and discuss the components of her final, closing BFA showcase. First off, Bri Joy is a proud CSULB undergraduate student. But, before attending our campus, she was a student at Orange Coast College. Gladly enough, she will be graduating this upcoming May with her degree in the Bachelor of Fine Arts. Certainly enough, she has definitely been a great addition to CSULB’s BFA Program: especially since she came into this program with a different background than most students. She did not grow up in Long Beach, in any nearby cities, or even an urban area; but actually grew up in an unincorporated mountain town. She solidly remembers this town being surrounded by much wildlife and nature. Therefore, it is clear that her childhood settings have influenced her art pieces in many ways. Nonetheless, I would have to say that I envy her childhood a tad bit because I grew up in the city, where everything was so industrial and fast-paced. At times, I wish I would have grown up somewhere where things were a lot calmer and natural. Not to mention, her artwork focuses on the “marriage of organic and digital systems.” She has been influenced with these specific styles of art because of an unexpected incident that occurred to her as she was completing a self portrait she had been working on for weeks. Unfortunately, her computer began to go through some technical difficulties and glitched out as she was about to add the final touches to her piece. In fact, a similar incident happened to me a few years ago, although my experience wasn’t related to art. As I was creating flashcards for my AP Japanese class on Quizlet, I was into the 40th flashcard and my computer shut down out of nowhere. Unfortunately, all of my kanji flashcards were deleted and I was devastated because it was difficult for me to type in Japanese on an English keyboard. Therefore, since that incident I decided to write out my flashcards instead. I didn’t like the idea of wasting paper to make so many flashcards – but going all natural has surely saved me from future computer issues. Therefore, I like the idea that Joy has thought of an alternative to continue creating her pieces.
Nonetheless, the first piece I would like to discuss is this one:
Initially, the first thought that crossed my mind was that Joy’s portrait was similar to the labyrinth that was in the film, Alice in Wonderland. This brought much joy to me because I like the theme that the film has. I would have to say the settings, characters, and their actions are all very strange and questioning in a way: since the film is so far away from our conformed society. I feel like this piece is the same, because it doesn’t fit your typical art piece. Many artists typically like to do portraits of places, people, or whatever they actually see in real life; however Joy put together whatever she had in her own mind to real life.
Now, this piece appealed to me the most because of its’ structure. For instance, I like how none of the lines, turns, or curves are identical at all. It gives off the sense of disproportion and I actually like that because it allows this piece to give off a sense of carelessness and freedom. This piece could have been made in a more uniform way, such as creating an actual maze with non-jagged lines or turns, however Joy took another approach and created something that came strictly from her mind and what her hand felt as well. Like said earlier, I admire that because I believe that art does not have to be made so orderly. I also like the size of this piece because I believe it’s presentable for many people or even a group of individuals to view at once, rather than having several people waiting in line or standing around waiting to view the piece because it’s too small to view from a far distance. I had this issue for a few pieces in the past, because they were too small for many people to view at once. In my opinion, I believe the size of an art piece varies from person to person obviously, but I have this idea that when people create larger pieces they have more to express than smaller pieces. But clearly, my idea is wrong because there are many pieces that artists create that don’t require so much space to express themselves fully. Another thing I’d like to talk about is the color scheme of this portrait. I like the patchy, black fading color Joy used to fill in the open spaces. I think that this color gives the piece a little more texture, rather than just filling in the open spaces completely with one solid dark color.
The next piece I would like to cover is this one:
First off, I believe that this piece is empowering because it honestly shows what a woman looks like. Typically, women’s magazines choose to photo-shop their model’s photos, because their bodies don’t exactly fit what society has in mind to view. To the media, women should be very slim in the waist area, thick in the butt/hips area, and have a very clear face with long, beautiful hair. However, in this specific art piece, Joy took the turn and made the woman in the portrait appear to be a little bit thicker than what society expects. Her arms are clearly not as small as toothpicks and her breasts actually look very natural. Her hair also does not appear to be done professionally, therefore this allows her to appear as natural as possible. I believe that Joy did a fantastic job truly presenting what women really look like. We, as in men and women, are all made with flaws and that should’ve be an issue. Now, one of my favorite things about this piece is how the colors contrast each other well. The black and white theme suits Joy’s pieces very well, because typically black and white art portrays a strong message and seriousness. On the other hand, colorful pieces such as those created by cartoonists usually merge on the more non-serious side. But, in general, this piece is very beautiful because of the fine details. I really enjoy the concept of the line and square placements, because I believe that they give the piece more to think about in all honestly. I mean if this art piece was just merely the girl lying down, with no sort of background or surroundings, then I’m sure people would be like “Oh, that’s just a naked girl.” However, with these side details, they are able to give this piece a little more pizzazz than usual. I also like that the top and bottom pieces are exact replicas of each other. It almost reminds of the Yin-Yang symbol because of the uniformity, black and white colors, and resemblance of both girls.
Overall, I really enjoyed this showcase because it had me think about how influential black and white art can be. I am typically more drawn to very cute, weird, and colorful art pieces; however, these several pieces Joy showcased had an impact on how I view black and white art. I appreciate black and white more now, because when you take away the color from something then you’re truly looking at its’ soul basically or what it’s made of. Clearly enough, these pieces without color are still extremely beautiful and interesting to look at.