Artist: Jonah Coloma
Exhibition: Word of the Year
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Dutzi Gallery
About the Artist
Technically, Word of the Year is a collaborative exhibition that features multiple different artists. The artist that I managed to talk to was Jonah Coloma. Jonah Coloma is a student in the School of Art’s Studio Art Program. He transferred from Long Beach Community College to CSULB. Many of the other students in this gallery are working towards earning their BFA in printmaking. Colema specializes in creating monotypic art.
As I mentioned before, this exhibition is collaborative. Each painting has a very distinct style. The thing that all the paintings share is that they are all produced on paper and painted with paints and inks. Coloma’s piece is fairly different compared to the other pieces in this exhibition. His piece consists entirely of two colors: grey and black. A lot of the other art pieces use bright colors. His piece was one of the few that I noticed that doesn’t have a border surrounding the subject of the artwork.
Since this exhibition is called “Word of the Year” it is safe to assume that each painting is based off of a specific word. The word that Coloma chose was xenophobic. Xenophobia is the fear of people from other countries. Coloma chose to base his art piece off of this word because he finds it incredibly relevant in this day and age. This is especially due to Trump’s anti-immigration laws. He mentioned how xenophobia targets and segregates people. His painting features a shadowy figure within a grey background. Coloma said that the shadowy figure is being targeted by xenophobic people but they don’t know about it. This can be seen because on the left side of the painting is the same shade of the shadowy figure. These two things are separated from each other which could mean that the shadowy figure is being segregated.
Synthesis / My Experience
I really enjoyed walking through this exhibition. It was interesting to look at the painting and then try to guess what word was their inspiration. It was also fun to try to connect the word to the painting. I like the idea of having an exhibition based off of the Word of the Year. This makes people think what their word is and how important that word is to them. It also allows the artist to draw what the word makes them think of. It was interesting to see how Colema wanted to portray how xenophobia looks like and he shows it in a very simple way. The pictures below are just other art pieces from the exhibition.