Artist Conversation


Artist: Vanessa Olivarez
Exhibition: Tender
Media: Ceramics, Glass, Mixed-Media, Installation
Gallery: CSULB School of Art
Instagram: tokioni

About the Artist

Vanessa Olivarez is an undergraduate student. She plans on graduating this spring in May. She is a sculpture major.Post grad, she would want to work at the Getty and she wants to make a small pop up gallery in her apartment. She and her roommate have an extra room in her apartment and they will collaborate together to make the exhibit. Her main interests is mainly anything to do with art, but mostly film. She made her exhibit because she wanted to create a safe space for people to feel vulnerable.


Formal Analysis

Her exhibit consisted of film, a hologram look alike, karaoke, music and sculptures. The music, she actually orchestrated herself. It had a bit of a creepy vibe to it, in my opinion. It was a dark  room with flashing lights and a bunch of projectors. The music with the dark room made it very eerie. Beautiful lights everywhere. She had a sad poem on a TV screen that we were supposed to karaoke. There were small spots in the room where we could isolate ourselves. The overall ambiance in the room was comforting but a little scary, which is ironic.

Content Analysis

She created this exhibit because she wanted a separate space to feel isolated. Tere is a section of a room that is divided off to put on a head set. She wanted to give the feeling of being lonely in a crowded room. As stated earlier, she wanted to create a safe space. She says that we are conditioned in life to feel things, and it’s okay to feel things. Contemporary life is full of distractions like computers and phones. She says that we go to technology to find pleasure, but in reality we do it to fill a void. I thought that was an interesting look at life. In the room, there was a karaoke system with a TV with words on the screen. She said that the words were actually a poem that she wrote but it was a sad poem. It had a sense of irony to it because karaoke was supposed to be something that is fun, but you’re saying words that are actually sad. It was just amazing.

Synthesis / My Experience

Although I got a creepy vibe from her exhibit, I really liked it. I actually did feel safe. I was able to feel calm. I went to her exhibit 6 times and I stayed in it for a long time. I enjoyed it. It was able to speak to me. I am someone with a very colorful mind, and just experiencing the room was something cool. There was actually a lot of things going on in the room, but then nothing was going on at the same time. It was just cool. I really liked the hologram-like sculpture thing she had up. It was just beautiful and excellent. She created a place so we could feel feelings and feel isolated. I really love that idea, it is awesome.


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