Studio Arts ‘Rob a Bank’

This past week, 11 of UC Irvine’s finest undergraduate artists displayed their work in two exhibits, one called ‘Ten,’ featuring the work of 10 undergraduate artists juried by Karen Moss, and the other called ‘Learning to Rob a Bank,’ an undergraduate honors project by Michael Ano, in the University Art Gallery and Room Gallery.
The 10 students who contributed to ‘Ten’ were chosen out of 50 applicants to display their artwork, and one studio art student was chosen to display his artwork in a room for the Senior Honors Exhibition.
The artwork is vague and complex upon first glance, but with the help of the artists’ explanations in a binder at the entrance, exhibits come to life and evoke feelings of intrigue, sorrow and amusement.
Zachry Horn, a fourth-year studio art and management major, expressed that, in his oil and acrylic painting ‘Flatscape No. 8 [Six Feet of Bubblegum (for you, not them)],’ he wants to provide the viewer ‘with exquisite pockets of concentrated optical pleasure,’ with bold shapes and colors that seemingly follow no structure, making the artwork all the more appealing.
Fourth-year studio art major Shaghayegh Ariannia’s ‘Untitled’ video is simplistic in its set-up, but moving in its delivery. Ariannia dresses in Persian garb and speaks about how she migrated to the United States to be free and arrived just a week after Sept. 11. She speaks in her native tongue on one screen while a translation appears on another screen directly across from it. The emotion in her eyes provides a connection between her and the viewer, and makes this work truly artistic.
Shira Ballon, a fourth-year studio art major, displayed two pieces of artwork, ‘Psi’ and ‘Useful Fiction,’ using an off-white oil paint on two very large canvases, in which she searched for ‘imperfections’ in the canvas and connected them, making ‘constellations, molecules, maps, and time lines,’ which gives the pieces a light, meaningful feel.
‘Yoke,’ a video by fourth-year studio art major Helia Rabie, is one of the most confusing pieces for the first few minutes, but makes sense after a while. The video displays the mind of a woman in a coma; in the background is a blurry video of a tennis match and clips of brain activity in between, while a marquee scrolls near the bottom half of the video and reports on seemingly random events, such as ‘5:56 p.m. my voice (eyes) adjusts to the logic of my keeper’s voice … my grey-tinted corners.’ Rabie’s desire was to ‘get into the head of another’ and study ‘the extension of the preservation of consciousness’ of those in the video as well as that of the viewers.
Fourth-year studio art major Elana Melissa Hill used oil on a canvas for her piece ‘Untitled,’ in which she drew straight-edged and circular shapes in front of a rich red background to display ‘individuals trying to collect seductive objects in an urban environment.’
‘Ang tubig ay buhay (Water is Life),’ by Aaron Gram, a fourth-year studio art major, is a display of eight gicl