Wk7- Art Conversations- Juliana Bustillos & Tidawhitney Lek

Exhibition Information

Artist: Juliana Bustillo & Tidawhitney Lek
Exhibition: Doodles in Space
Media: Cement Wall, Butcher Paper, Toilet Seat Covers
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Marilyn Werby Gallery
Website: n/a
Instagram: @juliaanaaaab & @tidawhitney

Juliana and Tidawhitney are both seniors who are graduating spring semester of 2017 from the School of Art’s Drawing and Painting program. Tidawhitney hopes to also go to graduate school somewhere in the East Coast so she can expand her travels. Juliana was born and raised in East LA and when she first came to college, never wanted to actually be an art major. At first, she had an interest, and just wanted to learn the basics, but when she transferred to CSULB and took an art class here, it taught her to find her voice. Tidawhitney was born and raised in Long Beach and is local. At the beginning, they explained how at first they were sort of frienemies, and also had competition with each other till they got over it and became good friends which led to them doing an exhibit together. They believe they are in the “beauty stage” of painters and want things to be aesthetically pleasing.

For their exhibit, they wanted each space to give a different vibe. This was an experimentation for the two artists to see if they can pull something like this off, and also see if their vision would get responses from the viewers. It was an experience not just for them, but for the viewers to give them something different. They had stuck with this idea, built onto it, make a connection to it. A lot didn’t go as planned their way, but that’s okay because change is inevitable, and it’s flexible. They also had a lot of colors to start with in the beginning, but then began to eliminate colors to just black and white because it was way more simple. They had discussed how they wanted to work with the space, black stood for expansion, and white to be sucked in. Their inspiration for this piece was that they both would always doodle, and wanted to turn their doodles into something more. Space symbolizes their doodles. They knew they had to make their materials beforehand because they wouldn’t have had time to do it while setting up the gallery. They started talking about this project 2 months prior to the show, and would go out and buy materials, then would stay at school till 11pm-2am. They usually stayed late and stayed up to make their materials.

There are plenty of floating trash that dangles from their ceiling. Reason being is because they wanted items to just fill in the space, like in doodles, which people didn’t understand. They had also placed trash cans in there for fun and because it just seemed fitting to be in there. They would also scatter pieces in order to form other parts and their placements. They had materials already made that were cut out, folded, painted on, and shaped. So when they pasted them in their space a certain way, it was intentional. At first, they were going to work separately, like one person works with one color, but decided they wanted the viewers to not be able to tell the difference between who did what. They would work with one space, then when they got tired would move to another space and come back to the former one later on. They also wanted their viewers to move around the space they way they formed the certain path, blocking some area with “trash.” They don’t believe artists should stick to one type of medium, they understand that the world has to expand in all types of an art form. They explained the difference between 2D and 3D, and with 2D you don’t get the whole gist of it, which is why they made their exhibit 3D. They also believe space is a canvas to put work in. Their exhibit came out more playful than they initially wanted it to be. It became a more complex structure that was more involved with space, instead of flowing with space, they had gotten caught up with time to manipulate space. There was cardboard in front of the door because they wanted the viewers to enter, and not exit, and also because they didn’t want outside lighting to affect the space.

At first, I was weirded out with the cardboard blocking the first door. I didn’t know if I was going to fit because I was carrying a big bag that day. Literally, the first word that came out of my mouth when I saw the exhibit was “woah.” Imagine a girl just trying to read the summary of the gallery and what it’s about then turns around to see paper hanging off the wall, the ground, and the ceiling. That was me, and it was crazy. They really did feel like doodles to me, like things I would doodle in my notebooks. I was able to relate to this exhibit. I’m glad they just kept it simple with black and white, I think it spoke more volumes whereas if it was more than just those two colors would have probably felt like I would be on drugs or something.

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