This Thursday, May 17th, California State University Stanislaus seniors Spencer Carmona and Nuno Correia will be showcasing their artwork at Gallery 909, located in Modesto at 5:30pm.
Both Carmona and Correia will be graduating this year with Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees.
Spencer Carmona, a resident of Turlock, shared his views on the importance of art, the Bachelor of Fine Arts program at California State University Stanislaus, his style of art and those who inspired him.
How would you describe the theme of your art that you are showcasing in the exhibit? For example, is there a common theme behind the pieces, or are they all differing from one another?
I would definitely say the work is united by a common theme. All the works are divided down the center horizontally into two distinct but equal parts. Because of this division, they naturally allude to landscape. However, these are in no way bound to the limitations of landscape painting. Each part of the pair either deals with a flat plane or gestural marks. These parts could not be more different. The flat plane speaks about striving to remove the surface or the evidence of the artist. The gestural plane speaks about the human body and the artist. Because of this, the work communicates about the differences between the two and how their union on a single frame makes them symbiotically related and completely reliant on each other. They lie in an inseparable dance similar to the yin yang.
In general, how was your experience as a student in the BFA program at CSU Stanislaus?
I thoroughly enjoyed my experience as a student in the BFA program at CSU Stanislaus. It is interesting to look back and see how much I have changed and learned since the fall of 2007. I would definitely say my instructors have had a huge amount of impact and influence on the artist I am today. We have a great breadth of professors for the small department we have. Our campus and community is quite fortunate for that. Professional contemporary artists still in the field are definitely what you want when learning about entering the present art world. They are full of practical, smart, and critical words that have done nothing but help those who seek it. For that I am truly thankful.
How would you describe your style of art?
I had a conversation not too long ago with a good friend of mine about the classifications of certain artists. Jackson Pollack never considered himself an “abstract” painter. I find a strange irony in such a statement. History tells us he is. History tells us that he was the leader of the Abstract Expressionists but he denied it. Is it the historians that make up such ideas?
I could be as much of an Abstract Artist as a Realist. I strive to express the things I experience and see in life but I do it in an abstract way.
Do you feel that art is an important aspect in our culture? If so, why?
Art will continue to be an important aspect in our culture as long as there is cultural identity to the corresponding society. Artists are constantly reacting to their environments. They are constantly pulling inspiration from the world around them. Such worlds are defined and caged by our culture.
We see then that the art reflects and in many ways portrays the culture. This is important for all those who come after us.
What artists do you look to for inspiration in your work?
Some of the artists I have been looking at lately would include the major contemporary abstract painters such as Brice Marden, Gerhard Richter, and Sean Scully. They are all tremendously different and do their work for different reasons. I can find a little bit of them all in my work. For instance, Brice Marden’s work plays a lot off of experience and memory. One can see this in my work as well by the use of associative colors and marks. Richter’s work plays on the point of art, the need for it. My work plays with such ideas by my understanding and creation of the picture in my mind before it’s created; making it almost pointless to make at all.
Strangely lately I have grown to understand the relationship between my work and artists such as James Turrell. Turrell’s work is all about light. The usage of single opaque colors to hold one half of the canvas in many ways speaks to Turrell’s environments where only portions of the sky are exposed by a hole in the roof. These holes allow the viewer to see the sky as a two dimensional plane that seems to rest not too far above their heads. Instead of having such planes above the head, my work puts them right in front of your face. These planes have such an overwhelming effect on the viewer.
The show on Thursday, May 17th, will be held at Gallery 909, located at 909 10th Street in Modesto, from 5:30pm – 8:30pm.