Artist: Ariel Maldonado
Exhibition: “Talk to Strangers”
Media: ceramics, fired clay, metal binder hoops
Gallery: CSULB, Max L.Gatov Gallery East
Website: no website
ABOUT THE ARTIST:
Ariel Maldonado is a 4th year student at Cal State Long Beach and is graduating next year. Maldonado is working towards her BFA in Ceramics. This exhibition titled, “Talk to Strangers” was focused on the idea of getting comfortable and being able to find a way to communicate with strangers. Maldonado came up with this idea when one specific friend was part of her classes all throughout her 4 years and it wasn’t until this past year that they got the chance to communicate with one another.
When I first walked into the gallery I wasn’t sure if we were allowed to touch the art work. It was set up in such a way that it was tempting to play with. I decided to just take the chance and began to play with the ceramic colored balls that centered the kids game. As I was playing and going through the little maze I realized how much fun it actually was. It took me down memory lane back when I was in elementary school. In my elementary school there was a specific week that was dedicated to no electronics and at the time that meant a CD player or television for me. My family and I would find small games to play with like jacks, monopoly, checkers, Mancala, and marbles. There was so much tension and exciting to win. I loved how these forms of recreation brought unity and happiness to my family. It allowed us to communicate more with one another. While also building a competitive side of me. Also the gallery reminded me of a doctors office because of the binder rings and maze games. It was so fascinating to see how these games brought people together. The color selection for the maze game for some reason also reminded me of Rugrats. However, today technology is so addicting that it makes it impossible to enjoy games like these. Which is upsetting because although people communicate virtually they never communicate physically. Thus, I believe Maldonado’s gallery spreads such an amazing message about the many ways people should spark communication with one another. This gallery pushes me to find new ways of getting outside my comfort zone and meeting new people.
Don’t forget to check out the Ariel’s work on Instagram: @ariel__maldonado