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Art Review #10

“Silence & Noise”

December 9, 2011 – CSUSM Art Building

Silence & Noise was an exhibition for the VPA Process of Art course with Judit Hersko. All artists contributed their final project. The foyer, small theatre, and a classroom upstairs displayed the many diverse art forms, such as photography, charcoal pencil, theatre monologue, film, acrylic paint, graphic design, installation, music, calligraphy, and clothing design. I loved that it was a multi-disciplinary exhibition. An inspiration for my self-portrait came from a fellow student, Donovan, and his tri-portrait. He divided a picture of himself through photography, vector, and charcoal pencil drawing. His work told of his many talents.

Throughout the semester, I have not had a chance to see the artwork of others in the class, because the homework has been of a reading and writing nature. The midterm project let us all give each other a glimpse into our talent and world. I left the exhibition with a much greater respect for those in my class. Unfortunately before the event, we had to walk around and critique everyone’s work before listening to the artist explain his or her concept, process of creating the work, and his or her inspiration. Although the critique was helpful, it caused me to find the exhibition later in the night quite tedious. I had already seen the work, stared at it for about ten minutes, and wanted to rest my poor feet from standing all day.

The following is the second portrait of my series, My Beloved. 

Chalk on Canvas 3’x4′

Artist Statement:

As my grandmother valiantly fought colon cancer, I finished an oil painting of her favorite photo of herself just two weeks before her death on November 3, 2011. Beneath the oil paint are my written prayers to God for her health, peace, and comfort. The painting dramatically represented the idea of loss through the passing of my grandmother and through the fact that no one will ever see my prayers beneath the paint. Through her painting, I gained an obsession with personal documentary photography and honorific portraiture. This chalk drawing of my boyfriend Matt is the second portrait of the series My Beloved. Beneath the chalkboard paint are my written prayers to God and passages of scripture from the Holy Bible.


Gig Poster

Lykke Li Gig Poster

Design: Minimalism & Swiss Graphic Design

Characteristics of Minimalism and Swiss Graphic Design are the following: simplicity, precision, clean lines, geometric shapes, abstraction, blocks of color, modernistic, constructivist influence, inventive typography, lack of texture, and lack of intricate, complex illustration.

Because simplicity is the most important aspect of the genres of Minimalism and Swiss Graphic Design, I decided to use a limited color pallet of yellow, red, black, and white. All text is Helvetica, which was used by the Swiss, typeface designer Max Miedinger in 1957. Most Swiss graphic designs use Helvetica or another sans-serif font. The large, geometric shapes emulate the clean and bold designs of minimalism.

Inspiration: Clement Greenberg & Frank Stella

An influential artist is Paul Rand, who greatly contributed to the beginning of the Swiss style in graphic design. Example:

Lykke Li’s music is very modern and experimental. She does not fit one specific genre and can be categorized in pop, electronic, and indie. The minimalism and Swiss graphic design compliments her music and lyrics. The gig poster design has a lot of movement and energy. It’s bright colors and simplicity demands the attention of the viewer.

Double Meaning


A blessing in disguise.

Drink like a fish.

Self Portrait

Fruit Crate Label


Good and Bad Page Layout

The cover of Nylon Magazine contains some poor layout design because of the inconsistent alignment, the use of text color, and the ugly shapes of the negative space. Although the text on the left side of the page is left-aligned and the right side of the page has mostly right-aligned text, the alignment of the blocks of text are inconsistent. Because of the alternating use of color for the subtitles with black, pink and blue, there is no hierarchy of importance or natural flow from one block of text to the next. It seems too busy and makes your eyes jump around too much. Because the blocks of text are either placed super close to the photograph of Evan Rachel Wood or not so close, the shape of the negative space isn’t pretty. If the text had a more consistent alignment, the negative space would be prettier.

The cover of Elle Decor Magazine is an example of a good page layout because of the use of alignment, the number and consistency of the fonts used, and the balance. Besides the Elle Decor title, all text is center aligned, which is pleasing to the eye. There appears to be only three different types of fonts used, which keeps the magazine cover simple yet interesting. Although some of the text alternates font size, the consistency of the font used makes it legible. To balance the photograph, the text is placed upon a blank space on the wall. The black text balances the black room decor, which repeats “God Bless America.”


Rolling Mesh

Art Review #9

“Hansen Surfboards” 50 Year Retrospective Exhibit &

“Transitional Thinking: A Short Story 1966-1972”

November 29, 2011 – California Surf Museum – Oceanside, CA

When I was a young girl, my dad took me to his friend’s surfboard shop. As I walked around I was amazed of all the diverse kinds of boards. This may sound ridiculous..but even though I am afraid of the water and can count the number of times I have surfed on one hand, I would love to sculpt surfboards. Going to the California Surf Museum was so exciting because I could see how the design of the surfboard and the culture surrounding the sport changed. One exhibit displayed the gradual shift from using long boards to short boards. A smaller exhibit described the skateboard/surfboard, Dogtown community. After watching the film “Lords of Dogtown” over the summer, I learned so much about Zephyr boards. Jeff Ho, Skip Engblom, and Craig Stecyk opened up a shop in 1972 in Venice Beach called Jeff Ho and Zephyr Surfboard Productions. Craig designed the graphics, which reflected graffiti instead of the usual soft sunsets and rainbows. Jeff custom-made every surfboard, creating designs no one had ever seen before.

As I reflect on my time in the museum, I feel driven to be innovative, after remembering all of the design alterations surfboards and skateboards underwent and continue to undergo. I am reminded of David Carson and how he established the grunge graphic design genre. I am also reminded of Steve Jobs and how he made technical devices so beautiful as well as functional.