Artist: Samuel Jernigan
Exhibition: Weight of Whimsy Ideals
Gallery: CSULB school of Art, Gatov Gallery West
About the Artist:
Samuel Jackson’s career began back in 2000. His peers noticed that he had a natural talent. As a beginner, his ceramic skills were far beyond his years and he was immediate hired to work. He stayed with this company for five years. He took a break from ceramics for seven years. In between those years he was working at a farmers market. He returned back to creating ceramic pieces in 2012. Samuel was born in Louisiana but most of his life he spent in the bay area/ central California. He enjoys coffee, comics, and TV. His favorite types of beers to drink are sweet. Much of his inspiration comes from items he finds at flea markets or thrift stores. The final question I asked Samuel was “What sacrifices have you had to make for you art?” He said that at one point in time, he had to live out of his car.
Each one of his sculptures are sculpted with precision. It felt nostalgic. The figurines I used to play with as a child closely resembled many of his pieces. I was mesmerized by how smooth the texture was. Some pieces have a more rugged texture, which I assumed was supposed to represent aged skin. The way the sculptures were colored reminded me of my childhood as well. I don’t know what it was about it. Along the sides of the gallery, he had body parts laid beside each other. The body parts were disassembled. The piece that stood out the most was:
I love the message and how the pieces were assembled.
This exhibit made me feel childish in the sense that it brings back so many childhood memories and it felt like I was in my memories. After having a one on one conversation with the artist himself, I had a better understanding of the art. After talking with the artist one on one, I could tell that the artist is a positive person. He would rather hide the pain behind a happy face. Being the reason for others happiness is true positivity. Just because you post a positive quote with your car selfies, does not mean you are a positive person. His exhibit made me forget about what ever issues I was having that morning and I had a really good day. That is how you spread positivity.
I’m glad that I got to talk to the artist one on one. It really changed how I viewed his exhibit. When there are 160 students all huddled over each piece its hard to see the exhibit for what it is. I’m really glad that I got a chance to talk to the artist one on one. It made the experience that much more memorable and I was able to gain a better perspective on spreading positivity. I’m the type of person that wears their emotions on their sleeve. The artist, Samuel Jackson, does not seem like that type. I want to be a more uplifting person after visiting the exhibit and meeting the artist.