Artist: Nicholas Dison
Exhibition: Synergizing Fields
Media: Ceramics, Installation
Gallery: Max L. Gatov Gallery West
Nicholas Dison is currently working towards his BFA degree in the CSULB School of Art’s Ceramics program. He is a senior, and has travelled extensively throughout the world. These trips inspired him to create a collection that mirrors his experiences with other cultures, using ceramics as the medium. Ceramics is a perfect art form for this task, because pottery has been found and studied from nearly every civilization in the history of mankind. All sorts of bowls and vases are found in the ruins of Ancient Greece, Native American burial grounds, and remnants of Imperial China. The best part of these findings is the fact that they reveal so much about the culture of their creators. Nicholas replicates and elaborates on cultural ceramic patterns in his exhibit Synergizing Fields.
The pieces are very beautiful, reminding me of ceremonial, jewel-encrusted decorations from Imperial China. There are several paintings and several ceramic household items. The paintings are made with a colorful mixture of orange, yellow, red, brown, black and gold. The color scheme reminds me of very natural, earthy tones. The orange and yellow cause the paintings to feel old, like they were formed from rock and magma. Within the border of the paintings are abstract rock formations, almost like boulders swimming in pools of lava. The red and golden vase looks like it has a heavy Eastern influence, replicating Chinese or Indian design. Each piece looks like something from the past, distinct in its creation from any other era.
Nicholas Dison created his collection with the intent to create a conversation about the nature of art. Each piece is inspired by actual cultural styles, reflecting on how they were received during their respective eras. Not all techniques and styles are initially praised, especially during earlier time periods. The nature of art is to make the audience feel something, and the inspiration usually comes from the artist’s environment. Periods marked by oppression always censored art from being created freely, because art is so effective in swaying public opinion. The many cultures that inspired Synergizing Fields differed in their levels of openness, but the point of the exhibit is to contemplate why each style existed in that specific aesthetic.
I liked this exhibit because of the earthy aesthetics in the paintings. If I could have purchased some of the paintings, those would certainly be in my house right now. The orange and yellow surrounded by golden ripples inspires a sense of raw creation, like the era of the Earth when the mountains were just forming from molten lava. It’s very positive and energetic, giving immediate visual markers to the viewer.