Week 5 – Artist Evaluation

Artist: Joshua Thomen

Exhibition: Still Here

Media: Ceramics, Sculpture

Gallery: Dennis W. Dutzi Gallery

Instagram: @voyezmessouvenins
About the Artist:

Joshua Thomen is currently a Jr. at CSULB in the art program.  Joshua asspires to continue his work with an emphasis in the sculpture program here at CSULB.  Joshua exclaimed that his Japenese pop culture has really influenced his exploration in his art projects.  He views art as a representation of who you are and what you believe in.  

Formal Analysis:

The building which Joshua’s project was held was very different from the rest of the art exhibits. One would notice the lack of lights upon entering the art exhibit.  You were greeted with the sounds of wind chimes ambiating throughout the dimly lit room.  On the floor, you could see the following:

The angles of these block shaped pieces were rather peculiar and restricted the room upon fist entering

Each of the little concrete pieces had a beautiful little antique pieces of cute animals:

When the doors were closed, the sound of the windchimes resonated throughout the dim room.  There were people moving around the scultpures.  There was much more empty space in the back of the room, but many students decided to stay behind the lines where they could see the faces of the ornaments.

Contenet Analysis:

Joshua explicitly stated that the material he presented in the art exhibit has multiple coversations on gender. Concrete is masculine and industrial while the ceramic pieces are more feminine and domestic. Joshua exclaimed that Home Depot compared to antique shop are both very different experiences,  much like his art. When asked about how to correctly navigate the lay out.  Joshua exclaimed that the presentation kind of forces a wall at first glance restricts the viewer on purpose.  The Wall symbolizes political work because of Joshua’s idea of this art project on inagauration day. The experience of the space is restrictive at first.  But the idea of the placement is to show the power and empty space found outside of the boundaries by which that placement makes us feel.  Joshua wanted to give a political object a voice.  The Sound of windchimes (domestic sound to sound homey) and empty dim lit soft space to contrasts with the concrete’s hard setting.  The ceramic pieces are found throughout LA. When asking as to why he used concrete, Joshua exclaimed that his inspiration came from the idea of being stuck in a situation.  Lastly, Joshua quoted Tony Morrison exclaiming, “During times of hardship, artists and culture should make things”.  His beatiful quiet piece of art symbolizes a quiet form of civil disobedience in a rather meek time in our society.  

My Experience:

I have never felt an entire visceral experience of art before. My entire senses were gauged in his exhibit.  My ears were stimulated by the windchimes.  My eyes had to focus harder because of the dimly lit room.  The empty space left a rather conscious mood for silence and whispers..  It really brought me to a place of younger days of my childhood and innocence.  

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