Artist: Almira Nikravesh
Media: Hydrocal, Digital Sculpting, C&C
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Dr. Maxine Merlino Gallery
Almira is currently an undergraduate student in the sculpture program here at CSULB. She is working on her BFA, and is nearly finished at this point. When speaking with Almira, she really only made it apparent that she was interested in weight lifting as her only hobby. I then asked her about the book she was reading, she proceeded to tell me the title and what it was about. Next, I asked if it was mandatory that she was reading that, she said “no”. Finally, I stated “So you like to read, then?” and she said “I’m glad you were able to deduce that.” In that, I would say that it would be safe to say she enjoys reading as well. I really was interested by how the ideas of her work explore parts of her life. Here, she created a replica of this silk carpet her family had all of her life. The feet around the edges represented the many who would walk near the carpet, but were told to be weary of the carpet itself.
In its entirety, the gallery Farsh struck me as quite unusual. It consisted of a digitally sculpted replica of a silk carpet, surrounded by many identical pairs of feet. The feet looked almost as if they were a plaster mold, but the texture seemed too grainy. They ended up being made of Hydrocal, which has a tendency to dry with a far grainier texture. For the most part, everything in the gallery had very rounded shape. The rug in the center had many rounded shapes within it as well, though the sculpture itself was a rectangle. When looking closely at the rug in the middle, it looked as if there were many peaks and plateaus. (such as in a mountain range) The texture of this looked almost as if it were made of sawdust, or sand.
When speaking to Almira about the exhibit. It was clear that she was passionate about it, but it was stressful for her to have to keep her distance from this rug growing up. She spoke about how her parents made it absolutely certain that nobody step on this carpet (though it was in the middle of the floor). She said she found it quite tedious to find different routes around the house if she had something that may stain the carpet. She also spoke about how she felt that carpets were meant to have a few small stains on them to represent that they had character, and for twenty-two years this one was stain free. I found it intriguing that she based the exhibit around the limitation to do something, because I hadn not ever seen an exhibit with the same concept. Another fascinating tidbit was that she partially replicated this carpet so that she would be able to lay on it, and do what she wanted with it. Finally, she spoke about how this was now hers and the fact that she could do whatever she wanted with the carpet was quite freeing.
As a whole, I thought this exhibit really stood out for me. It reminded me of parts of my childhood in which I was not allowed to do something that the other kids could. Kind of a strange concept, but a very prominent memory. In terms of perspective, I had an easy time relating to Almira. Though she seemed a bit gruff about opening up about herself, she did really say a lot once you got her started. The artist’s ideas kind of sat with me and are still apparent. The reason for this is because I’ve always been somebody who’s into sculpting, and the concept of tying my past into something I’m creating is something I love to do with my music.