Artist: Samuel Jernigan
Exhibition: Weight of Whimsey and Ideals
Media: Ceramics, Sculptures, and Paint
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery West
About the Artist
Samuel Jernigan is an amazing artist from Central California and is now living in the city of Long Beach. He graduated from CSULB last semester with a BFA. He started to do his art pieces around the year 2000, and would stop for a while and then work up again and the longest he stopped working was seven years. When he would work on his art he really put all his time and effort into them, he would do his work 15 hours daily. He started getting into art when he became interested in ceramics at a ceramic production company and immediately fell in love with the art. Samuel’s interests are food, playing the guitar, and working at the farmers market. What Samuel tries to portray in his artwork is a form of abonnement and also belonging which are two completely different perspectives when it comes to art. He got his idea he started to nice abandon toys just laying on a table, they looked sad to him so he decided to use them and turn them into art and create a bust which means you take this apart and put them together and attach them to other things.
Toys and different forms of toys was a huge hit at this exhibit. Samuel had many or all his pieces as toy and sculpture of toys. He states that his project is an exploration of the odd contradiction of one participating in a space that is intensity complicit in the proliferating of populist consumerists as a means of transgressing the rationality of a culture in which one fells alienated in. In his work the toys did seem like they were lonely and sad, but there was a joy and happiness as well. He does sculptures of the toys and makes them alive again. One piece that really caught my eye was the sculpture that looks like an old man, but is on a younger body. The sculpture also has screws threw the elbow and hands as well. This piece just seemed to interest me out of all the pieces I guess because the face was well sculptured and also reminded me of an old friend.
Samuel really wanted his audience to see the abandonment and belonging in his pieces. He came up with that idea because he felt that if he attached toys together and create a bust out of them he would give meaning to it. He said something about contradiction and absurdities is what moves and motivates people. And for him toys was his motivation, he didn’t like that he seen them in a state where they looked sad and abandoned, but took them and made them come alive again.
Synthesis / My Experience
Walking into this amazing exhibit I felt like a kid again, it felt like walking into Toys R US and it actually brought back many childhood memories which I enjoyed the most. Samuels work really made me think about the abandonment of things and how people’s trash can become people’s pieces of art work. You can make something that was broken or disconnected to something that feels like it belongs and is attached to a new item.