Wk 4. Artist Conversation- Samuel Jernigan

Artist: Samuel Jernigan

Exhibition: The Weight of Whimsey & Ideas

Media: Ceramic clay, Glass, Sprat Paints, Wood

Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov-Gallery West


Instagram: @samueljenri


When speaking with Sam, he told the crowd a plethora of fascinating facts about his life. Some more prominent ones were the fact that he is also very into biking. He spends much of his free time riding in mainly the mountains. On top of that, he is also an avid guitarist. It was interesting to find out that Sam’s inspiration for art actually came from his music. Sam also recently finished his BFA in in ceramics at CSULB last fall. From an outside perspective, it is clear to see that Sam’s art primarily explores the ideas of whimsical, cartoonish ideas. When asked how he got these ideas, he essentially stated that he never creates art he doesn’t find funny.


Sam’s work in its entirety is something out of a cartoon. It does make sense that he would create work of this type pertaining to how into the world of comic books he is. The work itself is very well put together. Each of his sculptures are crafted with such precision, and use of such few straight lines that it gives a feeling of a cartoonish figure. Many of the sculptures features are what I would explain to be balloon-like which creates a sense of warmth, as well as this concept of animation. To top things off, Sam also uses many bright colors which create a very whimsical mood in his pieces.


As a whole, the exhibit that Sam displayed had to do with the concept of un-fixing the fixed meaning of children’s toys. He demonstrated this with such things as the bust of the shoulders. Atop this piece was a rod for what would be an interchangeable headpiece. The primary headpiece he used was this ring tower of sorts. It was intriguing to hear that he viewed this piece as his favorite in the exhibit, since it gave off a bit of a strange aura. Though a few pieces came off as strange, it seemed that for the most part Sam was exploring a very well lit childhood theme.


In its entirety, I found Sam’s exhibit to be quite light. I liked how he made very simple cartoon figures into quite intriguing pieces. The exhibit left me feeling quite joyful, and in a good mood for the most part. I had been curious as to why I’d felt that way, but then I realized playing with toys resembling the ones Sam had replicated was a very joyous time in my childhood. Though it gave off this feeling of levity, there was also a sense of darkness behind some pieces. I believe it was just the sheer abstractness of some sculptures.

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