Artist: Juliet Johnson
Exhibition: i thought i saw a windmill
Media: Sculpture, Video, Writing and Objects
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Max L. Gatov Gallery East
About the Artist:
CalState Long Beach Undergraduate student Juliet Johnson is a currently working towards obtaining her BFA degree from the School of Art’s Sculpture Program. She plans on graduating next year and also plans on applying and attending graduate school under an art program. In the past, Johnson was a painter for years until she decided to shift towards sculpture. According to Johnson, she decided to switch to sculpture because contains more meaning due to its existence in our everyday reality in comparison to painting which exists in its own alternate reality. She works intuitively, so ideas come to her and she creates them. When it comes to the topic of time it takes Johnson to create a piece, it varies on the show and the piece. It took her approximately a week and a half to create the exhibition she displayed but she also has another work that she’s been working on for about a year.
Juliet Johnson’s work contains mostly video work along with writing and sculpture. For one of her pieces within the gallery she projects two images that intersect with each other with a melody (created all by her) playing softly in the background. The intersecting images Johnson projects are that of a green bush and a chimney fireplace. Next on display was a picture of a man jumping enthusiastically and happily. Around that picture was a frame that had its bottom missing and half of the left side cleanly cut in a slanted angle and also missing. Lastly, directly next to the partly framed picture, was a projected writing in a salmon pink color. The project was slanted and projected directly on the corner of the wall so that the wording would be displaying on two walls. Upon reading the displayed wording, it was noticed that grammatical rules were not followed as there was no capitalization at the end of a sentence.
Upon my meeting with Juliet Johnson, she gave me the impression that she was a calm and tranquil person which was reflected in the way she displayed her art work. The color scheme her gallery had complimented each other well as they all were prominent in their own way but still didn’t outshine any of the other pieces color wise. All her art pieces contained a deep meaning to them which were explained visually in a soft spoken and clear way. The melody she created to go along with her art display complemented her pieces well and added to the soft spoken atmosphere she created within the room. The melody was calming and relaxing, adding an almost “it’s okay” feeling to compliment the messages her artwork shared. For example, in Johnson’s work displaying the partially framed picture of an enthusiastically happy jumping man it seems that it’s saying that despite the outward appearance of joy, the things that we need to surround us might be missing.
At first glance, I knew Johnson’s work was drastically different then what the other gallery’s displayed that day and we even different from the art I’ve normal seen at art museums. It wasn’t your traditional detail sculpture of someone posing nor was it just an extremely oversized version of an inanimate object nor a projection of words put in aesthetically pleasing way. Her work was a not so typical combination of things that worked together to reflect an overall message that starts off as a feeling of emotion for me when I first looked at and then became a full on clear message when I reflected on it more. The partially framed picture spoke to me because it reminded me of myself in a way. I tend to be happy or display a joyful personality but always feel like there is something that I’m missing something no matter what. The melody she plays, as I mentioned before, gives off a relaxing “it’s okay” aura which when mixed with the partially framed picture, helped me come to terms with the “missing” feeling I sometimes am challenged with.