Exhibition: Self Exhibition
Media: Ceramics and other miscellaneous pieces (gardening tools, cigarette cartons)
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Max L. Gatov Gallery West
About the Artist
Samuel Jernigan is an alumni from California State University Long Beach. He has his BFA in ceramics. Ceramics seems pretty crucial to his artistic expression as he has done it for so long, 15 years. One of the first ways he started ceramics was when he worked with a ceramic production company.
His ceramic works all had large curvatures. It seems as though he intentionally didn’t make many of the lines straight. Such as the feat on the cookie monster, the “toes” portion is softly curved into the ground. He uses soft colors as well. The colors are faded and almost blend with the color of ceramic itself. The way he puts the curves together however, almost creates a contour. The idea that you could just trace each sculpture with one line. Also, each time he uses a specific color, you see him use different hues within that blue. For example, on the narwhal, he used a pinkish red; Which was surrounded by different hues of red such as a soft orange.
Jernigan’s work tackles an idea of our childish past being alienated by corporate consumerist messages. This is perhaps the reason multiple of his pieces have connotations of toddler or young child toys. To give some examples: the women without the head and the cookie monster. There is a constant contrast between the logos that seem forcefully applied to some of the art (such as the smiley face on the women without a head, and the cigarette carton next to the kid) to the rest of the art piece. Or even, the idea that our childhood objects have some realism to them, such as how the narwhal is suspended by a cylindrical object.
A lot of this artwork was supremely nostalgic to me. The cookie monster was honestly one of my favorite puppet characters as a kid so seeing it in such a art form was beautiful in a way. It was also a reflective moment when I saw the kid with the cigarette packet. As it was a reminder of when I got addicted to cigarettes and eventually stopped because I believed it will just killing me and fueling more money to them. The lack of ridges created a calming feeling when approaching each different piece. The whole room was vibrant in very calm tones by the colors and soft curves actually. Overall, as most artwork is, it was a reflective experience.