Artist: Bri Joy
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery East
CSULB undergraduate Bri Joy, who’s in her last year, is working toward her BFA degree in the School of Art’s Printmaking Program. Bri Joy is from Modjeska Canyon, California, which is a very small town in the Santa Ana mountains, with limited cell phone service and just a few hundred people. She’s one of the lucky people who can find treasures at thrift shops and enjoys having plants. She has always been artistic, she enjoyed drawing for fun and feels like she was in a stimulating environment; she was discouraged from being on a computer and was pushed towards drawing, making something, or going outside. She described herself at a travel bug, she wants to go to all of these places since you experience moments of beauty everywhere and a lot of the time we get stuck in our comfort zones. She explores her past and present, and comfort zones and breaking them and loving what you have experienced and what you still have to come
Her work is print; I believe she said that she digitally processes this and that’s how her piece Merge was turned into something she really wasn’t planning. It’s a two dimensional, black and white gallery with a lot of meaning behind what it seems. The lines in her gallery are overall both straight and curved; curved when a figure is being shown. The lines and curves vary from thin, to more bold, giving it more texture and giving it an almost 3D quality. Her work also has like disproportional shapes but are all overall structured to find into a defined box, which give it a neater, structured, look. The rhythm of her work varies as well, even in her piece that is mostly made up of straight lines going across, the variations of thickness and gaps, the piece lacks a sense of peace and keeps the viewer looking around it. As the work went around the room, she also went from strictly lines to moving to curves completely. (The order in my post are arranged randomly)
Bri Joy grew up in an organic, natural environment and then moved to Long Beach, which is a heavily industrialized setting. With her piece Merge, it was interesting, for her, to see the digital input on her organic body, which referenced her past and brought it to her present and how she is coexisting in those two places in her own mind. Along with the shift from moving, seeing how how people take care of the environment here, the communal neglect, has inspired her art. She puts herself into her work a lot, so her art explores her conveying the emotion of being in an organic setting, or even missing it; closing her eyes and envisioning it around her, and not necessarily learning to cope with the loss of it around her but learning to appreciate the environment that we’re residing in since she feels that we can find beauty in most places. She explores the idea of embracing difference, she felt that you can be in love with one place at one moment but can find yourself in the most incredible thing in a different place.
I feel like most people try to be environmentalists by “doing their part” of not letting the water run for too long, throwing their trash away, and trying to recycle every once and a while. We find this all to be okay and acceptable, even maybe praise their efforts, but to the artist, who grew up in an actual environment where nature was surrounding her, she sees the difference and the digitalization of cities. And talking to her, I could envision it as well. We talked about how people will literally water their ground and how it’s all wasted. Long Beach is a very industrialized, urban town when compared to smaller cities. I know I grew up in an area that was a bit more natural in comparison and the differences are insane. The parks here are minuscule and the whole city is covered in cement. My ideas surround the idea of helping the earth survive our overtaking, and letting it flourish more for our own benefits and that of later generations. My life experiences resonate with hers since, as someone who just moved away from home a month ago, I’ve also learned to appreciate my surroundings when I go home or other places that have a more organic touch.