Artist: Daniel Vera and Dalia Banuelos
Gallery: Dr. Maxine Merlino
Media: Sculpture, Photography, Painting
About the Artists and their Art:
The artists, Daniel and Dalia, are both students at CSULB and were kind enough to give us some background information on who they are and what their artwork was all about. Daniel is working on getting his major in Photography while Dalia is working for her major in Studio Art. Daniel is hoping to one day apply and gain acceptance to the BFA program for photography, which is a highly competitive and stringent program.
In relation to this week’s online art discussion regarding Realism vs. Romanticism, this exhibition named ‘Infraction’ by Daniel and Dalia certainly leans away from Realism and more towards the creative, surrealist Romantic side of art. This is especially true of some of the paintings on every wall. Further, the first thing you notice is that there is a lot of content happening all at once. The eyes are drawn to multiple objects and pictures, which are spread everywhere in the room. The black lines of string that zip above a figure bowing down on the floor raise the question, “What am I looking at?” and more interestingly, “Why?” Why is this person hunched over, lit in shining light, as if desperately pleading for mercy? What is the purpose of what seems to be simply chaos?
According to Daniel and Dalia, who both attempted to get accepted into the BFA program mentioned earlier, this exhibition named ‘Infraction’ had a direct connection to their rejection from the program. Interestingly, this exhibition featured the same kind of artwork they had used to try to be accepted into the program, which unfortunately did not work in their favor. Despite all the hard work and effort Daniel and Dalia put in, they were not given admission, and so they feel as if they were also given an infraction, so to speak. The dark, moody atmosphere shown is a reflection of their feelings; they really wanted to get into the program. While Daniel will try again in the future, Dalia has applied too many times already and cannot do so anymore.
While it seems like all this background information is not too uplifting, this kind of backstory, in my opinion, enhances the artwork presented. It gives it a dynamic aspect and breathes life into it. While the circumstances are of course unfortunate, these two artists have still persisted in expressing themselves. It is a sad truth that all artists will face rejection, probably many times, before they experience or have a chance at succeeding, and this is a reminder of that, but I hope the best for these two talented and resilient artists.