Artist: Samuel Jernigan
Exhibition: Weight of Whimsy Ideal
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery West
This week the artist I had a conversation with was Samuel Jernigan. He graduated CSULB Fall 2015, majoring in Ceramics. Samuel is from the Bay area in Central California where there is a lot of argiculture. He says he wont make any piece of art that doesnt make him laugh. His exhibition, “Weight of Whimsy Ideal” explores the idea of “an exploration of the odd contradiction of space that is intensely complicit in the proliferation of populist consumerism.” His ideas he wants to reach are alienation and contradictions. One very interesting thing is that while Samuel was making his art pieces, up to 16 hours a day, he was so occupied that he lived in his car for three years since he would berly be at his apartment. Besides art, Samuel loves reading and also watches alot of cartoons. He goes on bicycle rides and thinks that making these pieces of art has him inside in one place for so long that he tries to go out and do things. Another interesting thing is that Samuel use to work at a farmers market in the produce section.
Samuel uses ceramics in all his pieces of art. His pieces touch upon childhood memories that makes his art colorful. He uses bright colors in about 70% of his sculptures. These colors are like the colors of the rainbow that really catches peoples eye. The ceramic paint he uses is $10 a can and he only shops at one store that is BigDick hardware store in Compton. He only likes to use high pigmented colors. Also he uses paint pens in the brand Krink because he thinks the colors look best if they were like primer.His pieces are smooth lines and easy too look at media that makes his art very appealing and comfortable to look at. It is where hard material meets a soft form. He uses cartoon like shapes and draws sharp lines to make his media come to life and appeal to someones childhood.
Samuel tries to reach a different emotion, he doesnt stick to one but a general emotion from everybody. He is trying to unfix the fix mindset of what people think when they look at his art or what they usually expect from art. He doesn’t want to represent what people assume because he knows that people do assume his art is just childhood memories. For example in the first picture where there is a toy on top of a neck of a women, he explained to us that its unfixing a fixed idea like in the Victorian Era where people would do art exactly how they it, like a picture. Samuel is creating a system that isnt fixed and changes the idea that you can actually put anything together and it doesnt have to be what you expect. It is a different type of human experience and takes a memory and unfixes it.
When I first looked at Samuel’s art before even talking to him, the first thing that came to my head was nostalgic ideas. The picture I took to the right was the main one that I just thought, the cookie monster because I would watch Sesame Street when I was little. Then when I started talking to the artist and it made me realize that there is more to his message then just what I thought. When everybody was looking at the art I heard comments of its so nice, colorful and fun, and sometimes I think like our childhood is all those things and now I can look at Samuel’s art and then think that everything doesnt have to be one way. Even thinking about how Samuel lived in his car for 3 years because he was spending so much time doing something he loves doing makes me eager to find my passion.