In this week’s artist conversation I had the opportunity to speak to one of the artist in the “Word of the Year- Printmaking group show” and his name is Jonah Coloma. Jonah is an undergraduate at CSULB who is currently trying to get his degree in BA- Studio Art. He just recently transfered to CSULB from LBCC and claims to be a third year student but he is not completely sure do to his transfer. His main focus in studio art is creating monotype pieces. I was able to learn from him that with monotype printmaking, each piece will always be different and unique because he has to paint on a plexy glass and have the paper be rolled on to it. Out of all the words that could have been used to represent the “word of the year,” Jonah wanted to focus on xenophobia. Xenophobia is the fear or hatred of something or someone that is percieved as strange. He wanted to focus on this word because of what has been going on in our world politically and the destruction it has brought onto our country. To bring attention to what is realistically going on, he hopes that the audience will acknowledge what is going on and make a difference.
Jonah decided to use the black and white colors on his art piece in order to create a ominous and dark feeling to the audience, which in my opinion really worked because it brought on a sense of uneasiness in me. If you were to look at the left side of the piece, you will notice that there is a black “wall” and that is supposed to represent the world. For immigrants and people of color, there has been a sense of fear because they do not know what is going to happen to them on a daily basis and to make that side black and scary, it represents mystery in the unknown. There is also a figure on the right side of the art work and that is supposed to represent everyone that feels scared and targeted in the unknown.
Overall, I feel that Jonah’s intention to bring the term xenophobia to light was a success because of the way he used the black and white colors and how he used the sapce that was given to him. It really did bring a sense of uneasiness in me.