Artist: Samuel Jernigan
Artist Tag: Gatov-West
Exhibition: Weight of Whimsy and Ideals
Media: Metanna spray paint and ceramics
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery West
About the Artist:
The artist named Samuel Jernigan is a recent graduate from CSULB with a BFA in Ceramics. He recently submitted multiple applications to graduate schools including UCLA and Alfred State Ceramics. He loves a lot of things like watching cartoons, playing music, and reading comics but he especially loves to eat and drink; coffee and beer are his favorite choices. He stated that most of his days will begin with a latte and conclude with a beer. The ideas his work explores include consumerism, belonging, sentimentality, and alienation and how these concepts exist in our culture.
The two main forms of artwork used in his exhibition are ceramics and spray paint with the occasional addition of materials like steel and wood. His work consisted of sculptures as opposed to the previous artist I studied whose main form was painting on a plastic canvas. His work was very entertaining to look at, especially because it was three-dimensional and included colors. Many of the pieces have clean lines and detail that made the artwork seem extremely realistic. The colors used in his work included pastel and also bright colors. The pieces had a finished look that made the surfaces seem “soft”. These vibrant and life-like sculptures were extremely enjoyable to look at and study.
A lot of Samuel’s pieces are about childhood and represent the feeling of nostalgia. Although the pieces represent many toys we remember from our youth, they are all altered in their own way. For example, the Cookie Monster sculpture can easily be identified as the familiar character from Sesame Street but it does not look exactly the same as the original. It has its own uniqueness and differences that relate back to the artist’s concept of alienation. His sculptures were quirky and fun, and he stated that he always makes pieces of art that he sees as funny. As soon as you walk in the room, you start to recognize elements that were present in your childhood and it provokes feelings of nostalgia and sentimentality, which is what the artist aims to do. His artwork pulls you in and stirs up feelings you may not have felt in a long while.
I thoroughly enjoyed this entire exhibition and wish I could see even more artwork. The ceramic sculptures with smooth surfaces and pleasant colors make the pieces extremely enjoyable to look at. I especially loved Samuel’s exhibit because it brought back feelings that I have forgotten about. I believe part of his goal was to make the viewer reflect on their childhood and how it represents the bigger image of feelings like nostalgia and belonging; emotions that everyone feels but not as often. This showroom was fun, energetic, and lively but also made me think about how different things are now compared to my childhood. I loved his work and the message it left in my thoughts.