Week 4 / Artist Conversation / Samuel Jernigan

Artist: Samuel Jernigan

Exhibit: Weight of Whimsy and Ideals

Media: Ceramic, Paint, Steel, and Wood

Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery West

Artist’s website: Samuel Jernigan’s Website

Instagram: samueljenri


Samuel Jernigan is from the bay area, but originally resided in central California, and has just recently graduated California State University Long Beach. He says that he got into international fabrication first, but his artwork is ceramic. He said that he started working with clay in 2000, but took a break in 2006. After his break,  he came back to school and got right back onto his work. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ceramics. Samuel is working to get his master at UCLA in Ceramics.

Samuel’s artwork were sculptures that brought out memories of my childhood. Many of his sculptures were influenced by his toys. Samuel explained that many of his artwork have deep emotional ties with him, such as the fish. Samuel explained that the fish always seemed to smile at him, which made him smile when he was feeling blue.

Samuel’s artwork appealed to me the most, mainly because of how eye-popping some of his sculptures looked. Some had very intricate details on their face, while another has a spectrum of colors for a head. It seemed to me that each sculpture had a different story behind it. As I was looking at each sculpture individually, I tried to imagine what kind of thoughts and emotion Samuel was trying to get me to express as a viewer. The sculpture of the young boy made me think of racial groups. The boy’s face will show what type of ethnic groups he will most likely be associated with, which is why there is a noticeable amount of definition on the face. The body is glossed out and has less amount of detail because despite how you look, your race will not define your own sense of belonging, whether it is to an ethnic group that is completely different from your own.



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