Still Moving: A Review

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Editorial and Opinion  |  House: Booksie Classic

This is a critique of the University of Central Florida 2012 BFA exhibit: Still Moving.

 

 During the final weeks of the 2012 spring semester, the University of Central Florida and the School of Visual Arts Undergraduate Program released the works of students. Still Movingdisplays the art work of students working toward their BFA and toward a professional exhibition. The exhibit will be on display from April 12th to May 5th, 2012.
This year’s group of student work is unlike the recently displayed exhibits in the preceding months. Once again there is no exhibition headline and title, which would be nice, as I would like to know where the gallery officially begins. Straight ahead, you are welcomed by the colorful reproductions of the Wizard of Oz, by Laura Mills. Prelude to Oz, represents the time-classic story of Dorothy, the lion, tiger and the bear. However Mills has recreated the characters in a world of brightly executed poppies, and Dorothy sports hot pink hair. Although the works do not represent anything new, innovative or thought provoking –Laura Mills has some-what successfully brought something of her own to the subject.
Beginning towards the left, I approach the works of Dominique Sandoval. The series consists of three images, all similar, but each in a different color palette. At first glance, it is hard to ignore the student’s obvious interest to that of Cezanne; which is universally found throughout student work today. In her artist statement, Sandoval mentions that the works were created in a bout of self-reflection and is designed to excite human emotion.
As far as large scale sculpture, Seth Czaplewski was the only artist worth noticing. Several works took place at the front of the gallery. In his statement, Czaplewski wins me over, he describes that his work is “left to provoke thought, to be vandalized, to be transformed, or to simply remain.” After reading his commentary, I would be interested to see the works outside of a gallery, and in a space which it could do just that. I left the works wondering how people would react to the work if it were in such a public space. Unfortunately I was unable to know each individual sculpture title, because the labels were on the side of another wall, with no way of discerning which was which.
Further along the wall, I come across a carpet and hanging mobile. This nook area is hard to ignore as it is the only section that offers something new to the contrasting white walls and hanging images. The artist, whom this niche belongs, is that of Grayson Paul Charnock. His work is linear, expressive and rather much. Torn sketch pad images are glued to larger images to make up the collage quality of the larger image. Each of his works remains muted with gray and red line on the yellowish tone of newspaper print. Unfavorably, his work is too reminiscent of Professor Robert Rivers, despite it working for Rivers; Charnock must take the lessons of his professor and transform it into his own.
Luke Daniel displays a series of computer enhanced images, including his sketchy self -portrait. But once again another student falls into the trap of his professor; but at least he has made a change, and incorporates the highly pixelated image in his series. Following his larger series, Daniel places several small images in glass frames. On top of the glass frame, he places torn images from his sketchbook to create a three-dimensional pop-out effect. The works taken from a semester prior ultimately came across as a quick attempt to complete a project, which remained seemingly unfinished.
Other works by artists were less memorable. Many of the artists, such as Mateo Grajales-Jaramillo and Douglas Frazian displayed nothing technically advanced and thus not memorable. However, of all the animations and clay representations, only one animation student comes to mind, and that is the Claymation of Miguel Espinoza. Quarth and Worm were among two of the best clay figures on display. They are awesome, nothing short of spectacular; each having the quality of something that came straight from a video game. 
Another major complaint that I have about the student work this semester, would be the fact that too many artists felt the need to replicate the works of the masters. Now, it is not to say that the artists did not bring their own style or statement, but it has been done before. The work of Jessica Bargher Thomae recreates several well-known images; The Girl with the Pearl EarringNight Hawks and the Mona Lisa are all famous works. She places [apple] technology, in the form of Bluetooth, iPhone and laptops in each of her works. Technically her art is not excellent and looks more amateurish than if she would have tackled a work of her own. Deneese Johnson was another student that took the works of a master and recreated the scene with symbols of pop-culture. She attempts to follow the trends of Caravaggio, in “Fast Food for Supper” and works with a painting after Joseph Wright of Derby, in “Experiment with Surveillance Hummingbirds.” I am a believer in deriving art and inspiration from history, and from the Baroque, but it must be altered in some way to represent something new. The commentary which Johnson presents to us is well conceived but must use and absorb the Baroque aesthetic to enhance how the audience views today.
Veronica Suarez has the last remaining wall. To the left hang twenty small paintings used in her video on progress. In the statement to Evolve, Suarez states that the work is a “unique –dream like vision, alluding to the wonders of nature and the mysteries of the intangible.” Although the images look better in the video, I would have preferred if the paintings were just a bit more technically advanced and less childlike. Aside from the images, the music, by Deadmou5 (pronounced “dead mouse”), a techno remix did not work in sequence with the rest of the video.
Overall, the BFA student work displayed came across as a poor attempt to a last minute gallery showing, the works often looked like they had come from other classes or past semesters rather than something new. Still Moving did not raise the work of UCF students, but rather continued to still do the same thing as in the past. The work was uninspiring and had nothing new to tell me. I left the exhibit bored, without learning a thing. Besides lackluster work, the gallery once again has failed to give the audience a perfected experience. Object labels were not uniform and often no-where near the object, and while watching the animated videos, I was distracted by the laughter and loudness of reception. Perhaps next school year we will be able to see something new come from the student here at the University of Central Florida.


Submitted: April 25, 2012

© Copyright 2022 Sarah Tucci. All rights reserved.

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