By Thomas Scott
Last Friday, three students presented their theses in the Visual Arts atrium. Shiqing ‘Licia’ He ’14, Jami Gunzenhauser ’14 and Caroline Aldrich ’14 each put their artwork on display and were present for a reception that took place from 6 to 8pm. He took me on a tour of her pieces, which she created utilizing on ten different mediums.
The theme of her artwork was childhood memory. He claimed that her pieces were adapted from various scenes of her early youth captured previously in photographs. Some of her work that was created using colored pen looks almost like a dot matrix, with her hand acting as a human printer.
One of the most captivating aspects of He’s work is how she depicts her emotions. ‘Hidden,’ in which a face resembling Hes’ is shrouded by several blades of grass, elicits a deep connection with the viewer despite partially obscuring its subject.
When examining her work, one recalls the fleeting days of carefree childhood euphoria. ‘Spring,’ for example, depicts a child in Chinese garb standing among reeds with one hand grasping a low-hanging tree branch.
Gunzenhauser’s images, in contrast, were fresh and modern. She remarked that her thesis titled “Illest” was influenced by street art as well as German and Brail. Created primarily in the Adobe Creative Suite and printed in Olin’s sophisticated digital art lab, some of her work simply jumps out at you. Images incorporating tigers are a recurring theme; her flagship piece is aptly titled “My Head is an Animal.”
Some of Gunzenhauser’s art has text superimposed onto an eclectic assortment of images. Some of her pieces look like they could be part of an advertising campaign, targeted at young consumers. Whereas He’s art is reminiscent of one’s distant childhood, Gunzenhauser’s seems to be a celebration of modern youth culture.
Lastly, Caroline Aldrich worked in the digital medium to create her project “Logo Love.” Aldrich’s work is comprised of several elaborate infographics that depict the evolution of logos over the past few decades. She explores how logos evolved as our country underwent a trend of corporate consolidations. “Color Psychology” shows logos of the same color arranged vertically to from a logo rainbow in a depiction of how these symbols of capitalist institutions evoke various emotions within us. Aldrich’s pieces definitely make you think. One of her other works compares the market revenue of Coke and Pepsi.
All in all, these three seniors produced a wide spectrum of fascinating art that inspires deep reflection on a multitude of levels.
An interview with the artists can be found here.