By JUAN CARLOS GONZALEZ, student in the Creative Inquiry, Interdisciplinary Arts MFA program
This post was written as an assignment for professor Cindy Shearer’s CIA 7091: MFA Interdisciplinary Arts Workshop. As part of a community of artists working across art perspectives, students in this course get the chance to teach each other about their art form(s), practice, lineage and influences, and are challenged to inquire into the interdisciplinary arts as well as forms new to them.
My art is drawn from experience and from the intensity of life. My intent is to share a first-person narrative with the audience through the power of color and symbol, which are the vehicles that transform my elements into primordial icons such as trees, embryos, and forms inspire by nature. I intentionally strive to provoke a sense of connection and dialogue between myself and my art.
In "La Ciudad," the power of color and symbol are the vehicles I used to dignify the paletero (the ice cream vendor). The overlapping lines and the texture revealed through the power of color provide meaning to the paletero. I invite the viewer to explore geometric shapes, color overlaps, street wires, and the shadows they create, which become empty spaces and ice cream boxes. Throughout the painting, the paletero becomes visible through color and symbols, which transit into a vibrant place called the Alisal/East Salinas.
The process of color transformation gives meaning to the symbols we create. During these processes I experience personal transformation allowing me infinite freedom to translate the power of color and symbol into my own creative living experience, aiming to convey a sense of curiosity and awakening of the senses. Color transformation reflects feelings and emotions. As an artist I use color transformation to capture how I feel about the issues that I am focusing on in the painting.
Being in conversations at CIIS stimulate and aid in my creative process. I feel that art forms feed from each other to create spaces for growth and for curiosity about other art forms. At CIIS, I have become more curious about interrelationships within art forms and their perspectives, as well as their philosophies; being part of these conversations with other artists, I am making myself an offering to be whole and allow the opportunities to go in-depth into the content of my art form.
During my first semester at CIIS, professors sparked my imagination and stimulated my awareness of the interrelationships; we as a community of artists create and contribute to CIIS. To me, it has become vital to actively participate and create around those conversations; weaving our fabrics of our lives as artists. Now I feel that we can create works that can speak for the correspondence between the questions that arise from experiences in a vibrant community of artists who are curious and respectful of all of our art forms and world views.
For me, having a foundation to feed each others' art forms aids in exploring and expressing the contemporary and cultural issues I face and contributing to the community where I live.