Wk 4- Artist Conversation- Samuel Jernigan

Artist: Samuel Jernigan

Exhibition: Weight of Whimsy and Ideals

Media: Ceramics

Gallery: CSULB School of Art Gatov. Gallery West

Website: cargocollective.com/samueljernigan

Instagram: samueljenri

Samuel Jernigan is from central. He just graduated the CSULB ceramics program last year. He was first interested in ceramics when he started working in a ceramics production company. He knew the material really well. He’s been doing ceramics on and off since 2000, for a total of 15 years with 7 years in between where he didn’t touch clay. For Samuel’s exhibit, his inspiration was the awkward feelings he got when he saw a jumble of toys on a blanket in a flee market. When he saw them, it made him sad and he immediately wanted to get closer to them because he didn’t understand what they were. His art work is very specific when you look at it, they all have unfixed and fixed meanings. He had the idea of making something important. He had felt alienation; this works explores belonging. His other interest includes; playing guitar reading comics, and loves food.


The art piece that caught my is shown above. The bottom is the bust of a lady and the top is three different rings, that are all different sizes and colors. You can’t see the exact lines, but you can tell the separation of the different rings. The texture of the rings are smooth and circular. Where the bottom is very detailed and it looks smooth on the surface but it does have texture. The lines are very defined. I think this stood out the most to me because this one was the only sculpture on the table that had a lot of color. I didn’t understand why she didn’t have a head, and how it was replaced with the rings. Yet it was interesting how it was put together.

Samuel’s inspiration was creating a work with a specific identity, but being able to put anything on it. The bust, from the Victorian era represents the fixed piece, a specific identity. While the rings on the top are interchangeable. On the inside of the rings he made a peg, which shows physically that the rings can be taken off and replaced by something else. He made other pieces that are able to go on the head, one example is a Barbie head that was in the exhibit. His overall idea was to make something from an unfixed identity into a fixed meaning.

After looking and talking to the artist and his exhibit, I think the idea of things have an unfixed and fixed meanings can be applied all throughout life. A lot of his art work was very different from the last artist I had seen. His work is more objects and therefore I think it has more depth, physically. All of his pieces had been broken apart, and with multiple pieces. This goes with the interchangeable thing and how it can be taken apart, altered, or change. What I got post from this exhibit was it changed my perspective on life. I’ve realized that nothing in life in unfixable, we can change, things around us can change, and people can change at any moment. There is nothing we are certain about.


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