Artist: Jonah Coloma
Exhibition: Ink 18 “Words of the Year”
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Dutzi Gallery
About the Artist
Jonah Coloma is one of the many artists within the group, Ink 18, and was representing the gallery that day. Jonah is a 3rd year undergraduate at CSULB working on his BA in Studio Art. Because he is a 3rd year, he still has a few semesters left and I personally haven’t met an artist at school that was the same year as me so that was interesting. He has been making art as a kid and inherited this interest and hobby from his family. He really likes shapes and how they relate to each other, and how they look put together. Jonah likes to make darker pieces of art and is really attached to the word “xenophobia” for this exhibition.
Jonah’s work is definitely darker from the use of his colors to what he draws. His main colors are black and grey and barely any white is shown, if there is any then it’s lightly shaded over. There aren’t many shapes in his works, nor is there much structure since it seems more like drawing and shading. I feel like his work may seem very simple to make, but the story behind it seems very deep and dark. Even from a simple picture, it’s worth 1,000 words as many people say.
After talking more to Jonah, I went to find his artwork and when I saw it, I can definitely connect everything he said to me about his work with what I was looking at. He’s a huge fan of the word “Xenophobia” and he explained to me that when words have “-phobia” in it, people usually think of something scary or has to do with fear and that’s exactly the type of vibe he was going for. The word “Xenophobia” is directly translated to “is the fear of that which is perceived to be foreign or strange.” The picture he made was definitely representing the word perfectly. No one knows what was in the picture and because of the dark vibe it gives off, it’s almost like you’d have xenophobia yourself just at looking at the picture. Jonah said the big topic of his artwork is having fear of the unknown and he did a really good job with that.
I felt very happy or intrigued in a sense that I achieved the feeling that Jonah basically wanted us to feel, which was being creeped out and having this dark wave creep over us as we looked at the artwork. The longer I looked at his artwork, the more creeped out I got and it was just freaky. I didn’t know who or even what the super dark figure was and the shadowing effect just added a darker feel to it and made it feel like the dark figure was creeping closer and closer. I thought it was really interesting to have experience that type of feeling through his artwork.
Here are some pictures from the gallery! Thank you!