Artist: Joshua T. Thomen
Exhibition: Still Here
Gallery: Dennis W. Dutzi Gallery
About the Artist
Joshua Thomen is currently attending CSULB as an undergrad in the BA Sculpting program. Joshua has always been interested in creating art since he was a child growing up in Pasadena, CA and he started to take an interest in majoring in Graphic Design when he first started off as a freshman. He soon changed his mind; however, and recently came over to Sculpting because he had more of a passion and a drive for sculpting. Some of his hobbies include watching Youtube videos on his spare time and he loves to eat Japanese and Thai food, since he is half Japanese and he mostly grew up eating that sort of food. For his art gallery “Still Here”, he used his love for cuteness and sculpting and turned it into an art gallery that he stated “shows off his queerness”.
When you first enter the art gallery “Still Here”, the first thing that you notice is that the room is completely dimmed of lights, making the room almost pitch dark, except for the light bits of light that enter the room. You can also hear a sort of wind chime in the background as you enter the gallery, giving the room a “relaxing” feel when exploring the sculptures. Another thing that is taken into account is how empty the room is, the sculptures that are lying on the ground are only contained in a small part of the gallery, all facing outwards towards the wall and zigzagging in a sort of “z” shape. The sculptures themselves are marvelous, containing in them little figurines like dogs and cats that have been painted on the stone surface. What really sticks out (literally) is how they come out of the block, which acts as sort of a grey background to emphasis the so called “cuteness” to the art pieces.
First off, I really liked the effect that Joshua put into the art gallery; its simple and straight to the point. He had stated that the dimmed out lights and the soothing wind chimes in the background were to add an affect of being sort of “at home”, since Joshua has a wind chime outside his house and whenever he hears the noise inside the gallery, it reminds him of home. Secondly, he had stated that he purposely sent up the sculptures in such a way to see if his audience was really intrigued by his art that they were willing to walk all the way around the art pieces to check out more of his art work. Finally, I can definitely see what he meant by when he said wanted to bring out the “queerness from cuteness” because the sculptures themselves really do look adorable, with an excellent selection of not just colors for the figures, but also the shape to the figures as well. Everything looks clean and smooth to look at.
Synthesis / My Experience
The only experience that I have ever had at really looking at sculptures was when I went to the LACMA museum in high school on a field trip. I really feel like I truly didn’t get a true appreciation for the art there because at that time, I really could care less about art pieces. Ever since I have transitioned into college; however, I have become way more open to looking at works of art and appreciating them for what they are, and thats exactly what I did when I viewed Joshua’s art gallery. I was so keen to view more, that I actually walked around the sculptures to look for more pieces, but unfortunately I found no more 😦 . All in all, I really appreciated his art gallery for what it was, and I greatly respect him for striving to make a career out of his desire to sculpt art pieces.