Artist: Dalia Banuelos, Daniel Bonilla
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Merlino Gallery
Instagram: @dbvqp @deliaeffect
About the Artist:
This exhibit was worked on by Dalia Banuelos and Daniel Bonilla, both senior undergraduates as studio art majors here at CSULB. Because Dalia went away to take care of some business, I had the pleasure of interviewing Daniel Bonilla. He begins by telling me that this exhibit was inspired from their failures. Dalia was rejected from the BFA photography program twice. Instead of giving up on her dreams, she made an art gallery proving to everyone that she’s a great artist and she doesn’t really care what all the professors thought of her art in the past. Daniel told me how he was drawn to photography ever since he took a class in high school. His dreams in the future is to become a successful, working artist.
When you first walk in, your eyes are drawn to the string part of the exhibition. It is presented in the back of the gallery and is simply made up of strings criss-crossing each other, connecting photographs. In the midst of the strings were two human-like dummies, positioned in a depressing way. One was lying down facing the wall, the other was sitting with his face in his lap. On the walls of the gallery, as we move towards the door, held photographs that looked like the psychological ink blots. In the corner, there is a trashcan holding lots of developed photographs.
This exhibition was their way of saying “eff you” to the rejection letter and to all the professors that didn’t like her previous works. In the gallery, the strings were actually only one string. This was to show how fragile the entire gallery was because if you cut any piece of the string, the whole gallery falls apart. The strings also allowed for a different way of hanging photographs. These photographs are interesting because all the pictures that were hung were the ones that professors did not like at all. The room was dark because they wanted to control the amount of light that was present so that it would create a “memorial” type of feel.
Synthesis/ My Experience:
This was a very powerful message because in this part of our lives, we are gonna meet so much failure. Instead of giving up, she decided to make something out of her failures. Dalia got rejected twice from the program, but that didn’t stop her from creating art. She still has the courage to continue on. Walking through the exhibit, I could feel her pain. All these photos, I felt like were great. I couldn’t really understand why she didn’t get into the program. Her gallery just inspired me to not give up and if something is your passion, you’ll do anything you can to achieve it.