Yet again, I inhabited the Max L. Gatov West Gallery this week at the art gallery, where I had the pleasure to scrutinize the art work of artist Dianna Franco. Dianna is twenty five years of age and although she has been painting and loving art for as long as she can remember, she has only been painting seriously in the past five years. Dianna struck me as very secretive, for when she was asked about where she was born or the high school she attended, she would smile and leave my curiosity unanswered, which I found interesting. According to the artist’s statement, she uses saturated and neutral colors as well as thick and thin paint in order to “explore the variety of weight found in nature and civilization,” which happen to be the stars of her art: nature and civilization. While I observed the art that decorated the gallery, I noticed that the size of every painting was large with the exception of a small one and when asked about this, Dianna mentioned that the size of the canvas was taken into consideration and that the large canvases could tell the colors apart better than the small one.
Dianna’s art exhibition is entitled “Flux”, which appropriately describes Dianna’s art in the gallery since Dianna painted her admiration on how nature and civilization intertwine/flow together and help one another, and in my opinion, destroy one another as well. To me, all of Dianna’s paintings constituted a “civilization” and “natural” aspect but what made them different was the colors used and the fact that they all represented different things. Dianna loves to observe nature at a macro and micro level, from the galaxies in outer space to the cells in living things, and it was up to the viewer to interpret what they saw in her art. Dianna emphasized the viewer’s interpretation of the art, since she did not title her art work and would smile and say “it’s a secret,” when asked about the meaning of her art. What I found funny was that after I would tell Dianna my interpretation of her art, such as the one to the right, which I thought of as a river of life/nature running through a dry and dying civilization and restoring it, I would find her smiling or chuckling, which would force me to ask her about her interpretation of the art to no avail. I could not help but laugh at me attempt to get her to tell me its meaning. The viewer’s interpretation without a doubt is of importance to Dianna; she says that she wants to know what others think of the art, she wants people to use their imagination instead of being told what the art is, which I find interesting. Although she did not reveal the meaning of her art, I am sure that my interpretation matched hers in the painting to the left where I saw nature at a micro level as viruses/germs (maybe not viruses/germs to Dianna) running through the civilization and interacting with it. Similarly, I saw nature in its micro form present in a civilization in the featured image (above) as a river of chemicals/bacteria, for no river is pink or magenta (maybe it is not a river)! The artist was amused by my interpretations. Whether my interpretations were similar to hers or not, it was definitely fun attempting to decipher the meaning of her art.
I must admit that I had difficulty selecting an art exhibition to view and an artist to speak with because none captured my attention, but once I saw that nature was involved in Dianna’s exhibition, my interest was captured. I found Dianna’s art to be intriguing because she captures an interesting idea in her art, the interaction between nature and civilization. Although her artist statement mentioned that her art illustrated the intermingling of nature and civilization and civilization of nature, I did not see the latter in her art; to me, it seemed that nature was the one affecting civilization (either in a positive or negative way) and not civilization affecting nature, although it indeed does in the real world. Unlike the artist I interviewed two weeks ago who captured nature in its lovely physical and realistic form, Dianna captures it in a more secretive way. I at first wanted her to tell me the meaning of her art but at the end, I am content that she did not, for if she had, it would have played a factor in my interpretations. It was definitely a pleasure getting to view Dianna’s art and having the opportunity to speak to her; it was something different.