Artist: Blaine Prow
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Dr. Maxine Merlino Gallery
Blaine Prow is currently working towards his BA degree in Studio Art from the CSULB School of Art’s Graphic Design Program. His concentration within his Studio Art degree is in Graphic Design as well, and this particular exhibition is not part of his graduation requirement.
The exhibit consists of numerous black-and-white, shape-based designs. The pieces center around a theme of geometry, contrasting cutout shapes with a black, empty middle portion. These are paper constructions, and I believe the three dimensional segments of each piece are created through the cutout portions of the black void. The colors are very muted, evoking an L.A. minimalist feel to the entire display. Because every individual art piece is entirely black and white, the viewer has to really focus on the nature of the shapes to gain any meaning from the exhibit. The 3D aspects create a less passive viewership that draws attention quickly, but the effects of the protruding segments work better at a farther distance. None of the 3D shapes match their corresponding black background, so it may be possible that each cutout was placed onto a different board.
When I asked Blaine what influenced or inspired him to create this piece, he offered back little substance. Apparently, there was no actual inspiration for this exhibit. It simply came to him one day in the form of creating a triangle pyramid. This makes sense, since the exhibition fulfills no graduation requirement and must genuinely be a passion project. However, Blaine did state that he has always liked geometry, which eventually became the outlet for Extrusions.
I enjoyed this exhibit, primarily due to the minimal color scheme. I think that the lack of bold colors assisted in highlighting the dimensional properties of Extrusions. This project felt like an experimentation in paper design, observing how each piece appeared slightly out of place within the black portions of the same palette. Although he refused to mix color onto the boards, since Blaine Prow admittedly hates painting, a lack of colors made it even more powerful overall. If there were bright, contrasting colors smeared onto each cutout, the entire display would’ve been passed over as sloppy. For some reason, a lack of color makes the viewer see more of what’s underneath initial appearances. Life isn’t in black and white, so the use of it as a filter brings out the true impression of everything visual-related.