Wk 3: Artist Interview

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For the artwork world update this week, I visited the exhibit at the Max L. Gatov Gallery West. The exhibit consisted of the theme: Conflicting Landscape by Maryann Gonzalez and Yireh Elaine Kwak. It was actually pretty amazing that the exhibit I took interest in was created by a one of my friends, Elaine Kwak. I met her towards the beginning of the school year at a club called Epic. I learned she was an artist and I’m just so happy and lucky that I finally was able to view her showcased artwork and reflect on it as well for Art 110.

The exhibit that Elaine and Maryann created was called Harmony and Discordance. First off, I fell in love with that name because it sounded so beautiful. The two are opposites but yet it works well together. Therefore of course, was the purpose of their entire exhibit. I noticed two main things: half of the paintings were green, while the other half had dark colors like brown, black, and gray. Maryann was not there when I came to interview the artists but I was glad that Elaine was there to explain to me about the meanings behind her paintings. Elaine told me how she drew all the green nature paintings while Maryann drew the darker pieces. I asked what inspired Elaine with her paintings and she said they were all inspired by her home because she happens to live on a hill. There is nature literally everywhere and surrounding her. There’s tons of trees, golf courses, and so on. Every piece in the exhibit had a conflicting emotion. The meaning behind Harmony and Discordance is that the green landscape pieces symbolizes peacefulness and the beauty of untouched nature while the darker pieces are against nature such as man-made creations that ruin and disrupt nature. Elaine said she started her paintings first with real life observations and then she would go to the studio and paint what she remembers. She did all her pieces straight from memory and from there, she abstracts it. The artworks were all done first by sketches and then she mainly oil painted all of them.

I could therefore understand the purpose of their work and the message they were hoping to get across to the viewers. It’s always about nature versus mankind. How nature is peaceful, simple, and always gives back while with the man-made creations of freeways, highways, and buildings are ruining and created over all creations of nature. Elaine and Maryann explain clearly that “Nature reacts accordingly to how humanity treats it. There is discordance in humans destroying the environment with their hazardous construction”. Their artwork is hopefully meant to provoke feelings among viewers ranging with emotions from peace, joy, frustration, or confusion. I definitely was amazed at their passion and I fell in love with their work as well as what it all stood for. I agree that society needs to understand this concept and we all need to stop and rethink our ways. #gatov-west

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