Artist: Samuel Jernigan
Exhibition: Weight of Whimsy and Ideals
Media: Ceramics, Spray paint, and Clay
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov West
About the Artist: Samuel received his degree in ceramics at CSULB, and is currently working on his post-bachelors. He started off as a production artist and until the year 2000, he started to create art with ceramics. He got his inspiration for his sculptures from exploring places with abandoned retro toys.When he finds them, he becomes emotional because they used to have a big impact on him as a child, and it also reminds him how old he is. He notices how time has changed and those particular toys no longer have the same effect they had on him. Samuel then feels compelled to replicate these toys with clay, ceramics, and paint. He believes that by modifying them, it will bring the same effect like it used to when he was young. Samuel is fascinated in the past because for him his childhood was a time of happiness and joy.
Formal Analysis: From analyzing the three sculptures, it is apparent that they are made out of ceramics. They look fragile and delicate, as if they were to fall they would shatter upon impact. The texture also feels glass like, while the scale can range from 3 feet to 5 feet tall. All three seem to contain the same color of the clay as sandy white; perhaps this choice to create them with the same color clay was so it makes it easier for him to paint them. For the added color, such as the spray paint, are different compared to all three. However, the paint added are all bright colors making all three pieces seem similar to each other. He uses the paint to make the pieces more animated, instead of leaving them plain and dull. There is symmetry between sculptures because one side such as the cookie monster piece is a exact mirror of the other side. Which this symbolizes balance in his art.
Content Analysis: What Samuel is trying to accomplish is to let everyone know about how kids in the past use to play. In the present day, most kids don’t play or interact with toys now a days. They’re mostly attached to electronics such as their phone, tablets, and gaming console. Samuel recognizes this and it makes him sad. As a result. he felt that creating art out of his favorite toys can have people realize about the past when kids relied on imagination for entertainment.
Synthesis/ My experience: I had a wonderful experience looking through Samuel’s art gallery on Thursday. It was the first time since starting this course that I witnessed a sculpture with size and length. Most of his pieces were almost as big as me. I can understand what Samuel was trying to accomplish with his art because I grew up with toys instead of electronics. It also brings my joy when I see toys I used to play with as a child too. I learned that no matter how old you get, you shouldn’t forget about the past, such as your childhood. Certain things change over time, and it feels good to reminisce about the days where it wasn’t weird and confusing as it is now.