Artist: Samuel Jernigan
Exhibition: Weight of Whimsy & Ideals
Media: Ceramics w/apoxy
Gallery: Gatov Gallery West
Samuel Jernigan is a graduate of the CSULB Ceramics program and has been working on ceramic art since 2000 but he has been working on and off on it through the years. His main interest is ceramics, but he also enjoys reading comic books. Like all of us college students, he also enjoys binge-watching his favorite shows (which happen to be cartoons).
Most of the work that Samuel had on display was smooth ceramic. Everything is either one color or an array of bright colors. Samuel explained that there is a rhythm to his work that he implements into his work which would explain the rounded edges and smooth texture. He said that this overall feeling of space and form comes from his practice as a musician when he was younger.
This particular piece is called “Broke and Happy” and Samuel took the time to explain it’s meaning to me. He started off by saying that the cracks and broken parts were intentional. He said that he started working on this piece during a tough part of his life and when he started to fix the smile on the fish, he laughed a little bit. He had been feeling down in the dumps for a while and it was ironic to him that he was fixing a smile on a cartoon fish. This inspired him to create the piece we see now with the broken parts. He said that this fish was meant to be an inspiration to people. He had both his fins and his tail broken off yet he was still able to smile.
Overall, my experience in this exhibit was a very positive one. Meeting an artist as laid back and down-to-earth as Samuel was refreshing. He didn’t seem overwhelmed or bothered by the hundreds of people flocking around him and asking him questions. His work invoked feelings of joy inside me (maybe because he said some of his work was inspired by toys).