Exhibition: Still Here
Media: Mixed Media
Gallery: CSULB of Art, Dennis W. Dutzi Gallery
About the Artist
Joshua Thomen is a third year majoring in sculpturing. He was majoring in design, however, he was inspired to become an artist because as an artist, he was able to express himself more than when he was designing clothes. As an artist, Thomen believes that his duty as an artist is to share his political views. He thinks it is important to make a difference by voicing out his opinion and feelings towards politics. He also like to incorporate Japanese culture in his art.
The exhibit had small, aligned headstones with cute glass animal figurines within them. There were a variety of animals in the headstones, such as cats, dogs, bunnies, etc. There was a lot of room to walk around them. These figurine animals were placed in different positions on the headstones. Some of the figurines were in the center, while some were coming off the edges of the stone. The room has very dim lighting due to the light positioned behind a dark fabric. The ambience included the sound of wind chimes that helped soften the mood of the exhibit.
This exhibit is suppose to express the artist’s feelings towards America’s recent inauguration. He felt lost, frustrated, angry, and sad after the news of the inauguration. He did not intend to make his art pieces to look like headstones, however he welcomes the interpretations of anyone who sees his art. Thomen described how the headstones formed wall like structures which he said symbolizes the “walls” in America. The “walls” may symbolize fear, segregation, discrimination, loneliness, etc.
This exhibition gave me chills because the sound effects, lighting, and the art pieces fit together perfectly with the artist’s vision. The sound of the wind chimes made me feel calm and sad at the same time while looking at the headstones. The cute animal figurines looked like they were sinking within the headstones. I remember Thomen saying he enjoys “cute things” like the Japanese, glass animal figurines, because they make him happy. I interpreted that his art symbolized his happiness sinking within the tombstones. It could also mean some of his happiness and hope for America is slowly sinking. I can relate because this year’s presidential election has made me feel scared and frustrated. This exhibition shows the hope that people still have in the future of America, even though there may be flaws.