Artist: Isaac Lee
Exhibition: INK 16: The West: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
Media: Screen Print
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Werby-Gallery
Today, I am going to cover Isaac Lee, who is a BFA Undergraduate Graphic Design Student. He also identifies himself as a Freelance Designer. Although his piece, “BNG BNG Baddies,” was showcased at the CSULB Marilyn-Werby Gallery on March 24, 2016, as a Screen Print; he actually focuses on Graphic Design, Print Design, and Branding as well. Nonetheless, I personally prefer Graphic Design out of all his focuses because I like the fact that Graphic Design can be made virtual or physical. There’s no barrier between both forms of Art. I also like that this form of Art can be expressed through images, words, and a variety of graphic forms and shapes.
Now, the piece I would like to talk about is “BNG BNG Baddies.” First off, I really like the title of the piece. I think it’s very playful, silly, and it also fits the theme well. The piece could’ve been named something differently like “Bad Guys in the West,” but I like the concept of Bang Bang – it gives the sense that something’s up to no good. I also like the color scheme of this piece. I believe that the bright bed background was the right color to choose because it sure does grab the attention of the viewer. It has even been brought forward by many scientific studies that Red is the most attractive color people are most drawn to. In addition, the mustard yellow and blue work blend together well and actually contrast with the red and white. In general, I believe it was a great idea to use primary colors excuse they are more visually appealing to the eye. One of my favorite things about this piece is definitely the facial expressions of the characters. From what I’ve seen myself so far in the CSULB Galleries, the pieces that have human or human-like faces, typically shown no sign of emotion. I haven’t really seen anyone smiling too large or showing anything bedsides a blank face, or seriousness. I admire that Lee’s characters all have their own identity. First off, you can tell the difference between the five of them by the way the eyebrows and mouths are shaped. Their eyes tend to squint in different ways and the shapes of their eyes are also distinct features of their facial features. I believe that the live men and money look fierce, unstoppable, and brave. However, the woman looks very fearful and scared to death. Now, one final thing I admire about this piece is the fine detail put into each character. You can even see the prickly hairs, a scar, eye patch, and very yellow teeth on the man in the barrel. Whereas the man on the side of him has a complete different look, instead he is slimmer, has longer hair, and has some sort of eye glass. In general, I like how each character has their own distinct outfit, hair style, gun, face, and body weight. The fact that each character has a different backgrounds adds suspense and interest to the print itself. The final thing I would like to discuss is the background. I thought it was clever that Lee incorporated cacti in the background because it really sets the scene of the Wild West. This scene would have been interpreted completely different if there was a different scenery, such as the beach or forest.
All in all, I really liked the outcome of this piece. It definitely caught my attention as soon as I walked into the Gallery. I usually work my way around from the right side to left, but I changed it up this time when I saw this piece! I literally ran to look at it. This piece almost reminds me of a comic drawing. I have no idea if Lee will ever do this, but I think he should think about creating a Comic book of some sort. I believe that he has the right skills, theme, and potential to put one together. He has that edgy, sharp, comical feel to this specific sprint. I think the theme and concept of it is very playful and alive as well. I like how this piece captures history in how the West was once, but not in a serious matter. For instance, this print could have just been a real life canvas painting of the West – like the ones seen in Museums – however Lee did a great job representing the West in his own way. In all honesty, I wish there was a larger variety of pieces from Lee in this showcase. However, I did appreciate other neighboring pieces. They were all very colorful and all had their own personality and theme. I’m glad I decided to walk into this Gallery instead of the Gatov East Gallery since I have the tendency to walk into there first, but it surely was a pleasant surprise to twist things up.
“The Best Part Of Waking Up” by Nick Roberts, Lithography