Juried Student Exhibition at QCC Art Gallery

By Jaela Minor

The imagination has a way of manifesting itself into reality. Every thought has the ability to weave itself into something that we can physically interact with. When artists use their imagination, the possibilities are endless. The students of Queensborough Community College embody the true essence of artistry. Evidently, there is a creative genius that lives within all of these students, and this can be seen through their work.

As a student who is familiar with the arts, I would most certainly have to acknowledge a fellow artist by the name of Jacquelyn Apostolo. My initial impression of her work, titled Paradoxical (2019), was that the soul of the artist wanted nothing more than to be seen. This piece of work conveys a deep desire to be seen, in great detail. This art piece has a way of capturing the eye of any viewer, for the depths of one’s soul can be felt through this imagery. Jacquelyn’s Paradoxical is a beautifully made oil painting that so eloquently pulls on the strings of intensity and vulnerability.

The color distribution in Paradoxical highlights the intense nature of this imagery. The background in this image has an overwhelming presence, and it suggests the artist’s deeper instinctual nature. The color reverberating in the background is a representation of the depths and never-ending discovery of one’s soul. The combination of color and shade add to the idea that the artist has many characteristics that are in perfect alignment with each other. The alignment of the artist’s character traits can be seen by how beautifully the colors blend with each other, and this creates a feeling of harmony. The use of paint application here is subtle, and this conveys the artist’s understanding of self. The rich and warm color used for the background sets the tone for the entire painting.

The glass-like object is indicative of duality, a soul that possesses a complex nature. The imagery shows a face split into two. One half of the face conveys the shadow self, which can be seen on your left. The other half, which can be seen on the right, conveys the ego or the conscious mind. The fact that the artist shows us both faces conveys that the artist has come to terms with both aspects of her nature. Through self discovery, the artist was able to tune into the shadow self  and come to terms with her vulnerability. The artist has no problem showing the world the shadow self. The ego self appears to be clearer than the shadow self. It is possible that the artist is more familiar with the ego rather than the shadow self. Nonetheless, the artist is able to balance both aspects of herself, and views both aspects as beneficial to understanding the depths of one’s soul.

Another artist who exemplifies the talent that lives at Queensborough is Julian Medina. Julian’s Untitled (2019), hints at an out-of-reality experience. Untitled speaks of an otherworldly entity that yearns to expand beyond our current dimension. This painting accesses the deeper realms of existence through the use of space, shape, and color. It reveals the inner genius that runs rampant in the mind of Julian.

The use of space here is significant because it touches upon the fact that the artist yearns to go beyond the structures built within our current state of reality. The shapes in this image appear to be sprouting from the center and expanding past the point of retrieval. The shapes expanding outwards can be seen as a willingness to go past the edge, and having an all or nothing attitude toward life. The artist yearns to be free. The use of composition here is unbalanced, which points to Julian’s untamed expressive nature.

The colors used are indicative of the layers that exist within, and each color represents an aspect of the self. The darkness infusing in the background suggests depth , and the splashes of white hint at the purity that exists within the depths of his soul. The dashes of pink and yellow, speak of lighter aspects. The application of paint in this image is heavy which puts emphasis on Julian’s all or nothing mindset, and a seeming willingness to ignore constraints.   

Karl Angelo’s Pondering the Mass (2019) speaks of absence. The image hints at a soul who is trapped by the illusion of fear. The black and white lines may indicate mental breaks in which one struggled to find balance within. Adam Christian’s 2 a.m. Thoughts (2019) expresses the raging thoughts that prevail in the mind of the artist. The use of color displays a multitude of thoughts breaking past the surface, and forcing the artist to acknowledge them. Kenny Collado’s Calm & Cool (2019) uses the classic complementary color combination. The color red may hint at the artist’s attempt to withhold his aggressive nature. The color green attempts to spread itself throughout the image, this may refer to his desire to be more relaxed.

All of these outstanding art pieces have a similar underlying theme that touches upon the depth that exists within every soul. No human is a stranger to the self, we are all aware of the fact that we embody a variety of characteristics. These characteristics add to the idea of what it means to truly exist. These artists shed light on the reality that we all have an internal battle, and how artists choose to express this is completely up to them. Artist use the power of their mind to create physical pieces of work, that allow the viewer to get a sneak peek at the complexity of their inner world.

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