Week 9 – Artist Conversation – Cynthia Lujan & Jesse Minott

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Let me start off by saying that the art this week stunned me, yet again. I was so intrigued by what the artists were trying to convey through the art. I found it absolutely interesting that the overall theme of the works of Cynthia and Jesse revolved around Los Angeles. The colors, people, and construction of it all was just amazing to me; I did not even have a “favorite piece of the day”.

I first spoke with Cynthia, who emphasized the structure of the artwork. She claimed that the rectangular pieces represented more of the aspect of adversity in LA. This made sense to me. Cynthia also told me that she did the people portraits (the boy with the skateboard, the girl with the closet in the background, ect.). I asked her about her inspirations, as I am naturally curious, and she told me that her portraits were representations of the diversity in LA. The probability of finding these people in the portraits in non-rural locations is not very high. So, they represent that aspect of people living in one articular area of the world, which is unique.

Some of Cynthia’s paintings may have to do with location, such as the lady with the short hair who is likely to not be found in the Midwest. Her work also provokes an emotional sentiment as well. There is a particular portrait that illustrates a female and the concept of gender expression. This particular piece of art was drawn due to the inspiration Lujan had gathered from the Punk band, Crass’s “Penis Envy”. In addition to this artwork, there is also another in which a young man has a skateboard, but he also wears “old man” glasses, suggesting that he is both young and mature. This interpretation is understandable and admirable, in the sense that it suggests that people are more than how they appear to be. At least, one should consider that. Cynthia also has an appreciation for history, which is demonstrated through her work and her choices of color as one can clearly see the depiction of how the world has evolved in terms of personal and situational diversity.

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I also had the opportunity to speak with Jesse Minott. I did not have much time to speak with him; so, I tried my best to get his perspective. His art was more, “architectural”. He claims that the cubes in his art were combinations of mass and reality. With this in mind, he constructed his pieces with the cube as a foundation to show a common existence. He admitted that the illustration of reality through the painting itself was not “observably accurate”, but the overall illustration transcends into creating the stratosphere that one experiences living in the Los Angeles environment. In regards to Minott’s choice of color, he has said that he utilized the saturation of color to introduce the imaginary, but realistic references that allude to the dynamic between the expected and blunt reality.

One particular painting captivated me as I walked into the room – one that I would be very curious about. The portrait in which there is a bride, groom, woman with red hair and drive suggested a lot in one setting. Jesse stated that in every day culture, it is typical that one would desire to be in what one calls a “happy marriage”. On the contrary, there is no sense of equality amongst the two companions as the male is dominant. So, Jesse had provided a glimpse into a family that would call itself “established”, even in a society with such a dichotomy. To further the ideal, Jesse painted a woman with red hair (that looks to be seducing a male) in order to convey depict the woman’s power of sexuality.

I really appreciated the work that I saw this past week. I had the opportunity to speak with both artists and both of them gave me interesting details and perspectives on their own art and the art of their partners. I agreed with both artists on the aspects of today’s society and culture and just how many factors play into the world in which we live. Particularly, in the city of Los Angeles, we can certainly see a good representation of how that very world is.

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