Artist: Jonah Coloma
Media: Printmaking, Monotype
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Dutzi Gallery
About the Artist
Jonah Coloma is a third year Bachelor of Fine Arts with a specialization in Monotype. He recently transferred to California State University, Long Beach from Long Beach City College.
This piece is a monotype, meaning it was created using a plexiglass matrix plate by putting the paper on top. By using this method, the print can never be an exact copy of the original, so it’s always unique. The artist’s intention was to create a dramatic and contrasting piece. The piece is very sinuous and flows very well to the eye.
Coloma’s piece entitled “Xenophobia” is representative of the current political climate. The whole gallery was filled with very striking messages and images relating to the refugee crisis and Trump’ administration. In his work there seemed to be a dark portal but after speaking with the artist he told me the dark shadow is in fact, a person. He said he doesn’t mind when people are offended or confused by his work because he believes that’s what art should do to the viewer. The dark vignetting and dark figure in the middle of the print allude to the turbulent times we as a society are currently going through. He wanted to make the piece “scary” as he said, and in doing so used the contrasting black and white. In other works he’s done Jonah focuses mainly on a simple color scheme of red, black, and white.
Synthesis / My Experience
I really loved the whole Ink18 exhibit. It speaks to an issue larger than every one of us. It’s frightening to think about a world where refugees are turned back, walls are created for borders, and issues of race and discrimination are rampant. Coloma’s work, while more abstract than the others, spoke to me as we do not know what the dark figure/portal represents. We do not know what issues will arise do to this new presidency nor do we realize the impact of certain legislation. It truly is an ominous portal of constant anxiety.