Week 9 – Artist Conversation – Dalla Banuelos & Dan Bonilla-Vera

Exhibition Information

Artist: Dalla Banuelos & Dan Bonilla-Vera
Exhibition: Infraction
Media: Mixed-Media, Photography
Gallery: CSULB School of Art
Website: dbvphotography.com
Instagram: dbvqp

About the Artist

I had the chance to meet Dan (Dalla had left before I got the chance to interview) last week at the art galleries. He is an undergraduate student who aspires to be accepted into the BFA Photography program. Albeit being rejected once, Bonilla-Vera hopes that he will get into the program.

Formal Analysis

This exhibit is formatted to be in a “journey-like” sequence. The first “stop” is a photograph of Bonilla-Vera along with his artist statement. Next is a series of black-and-white double-exposure (?) photos that seem to get brighter with each photo. Third, a series of three of the same photo, decreasing in size. This then expands into a mass entanglement of photos of all different sizes. Here, viewers can see two bodies, one curled up in the corner; another, bent down in frustration. After this mess, it connects to a small, medium, large, medium, small photo. Finally, ending at a trashcan which contains numerous photo prints, emphasizing the failure and rejection of Bonilla-Vera’s attempts to get into the photography program.

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Content Analysis

This exhibit was created to show and allow viewers to experience the frustrations of failure and rejection that Bonilla-Vera had experienced after getting a rejection letter. He wanted to create a reinterpretation of such an event whist also preserving what the gallery means to him- a “place to glorify  the achievements from […] select individuals who were […] chosen.” From the vulnerable postures of the bodies to the mass ties between photos and such, Bonilla-Vera allows viewers to step into the mind-state of his during this very emotional moment.

Synthesis / My Experience

When I stepped in the exhibit, I had originally planned to just drop in and leave. However, when I stepped in the “mess” that the artist had created captivated me, in a way, to stay and actually look at the work. I think it was nice to see such “reinterpretation” of frustration and anger into such an organized presentation. The fiber art connecting and hanging the photos were also pretty neat to view.

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