Artist: Joshua Tomokazu Thomen        Exhibit: STILL HERE

Medias: sculpture, cementing, and figurines       Gallery: CSULB School of Art Dennis W.   Dutzi Gallery

Joshua Thomen is an artist from California State University Long Beach. Thomen is a third year Bachelor of Arts student who is hoping to get a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sculpture. Thomen will be applying for the program in the future.

When entering Thomen’s exhibit, the viewer’s eyes have to adjust to the dim lighting in the room. After their eyes adjust, they can see something that looks like a pathway or a wall of little squares of cement. Inside the cement squares or blocks there are glass figurines. These glass figurines are innocent looking animals. They look like something that would be on the wallpaper of a baby’s nursery. Another element to this exhibition was the chimes playing in the background.

Joshua Thomen’s work is very political. He created this piece with our current political issues in mind. His exhibition is his response to our current political crisis. Thomen talks about how he found the figurines and felt connected to them because of how innocent they look. He put them in cement to get his viewers to see a parallel to the United States’ political scene and the innocent creatures struck in cement.

This exhibition really caught my attention because it seemed so eery. I enjoyed the sounds he added. I caught on the the idea of innocence being threatened or trapped as soon as I saw the little animals in cement. I also thought it was super interesting how Thomen arranged the blocks of cement. As opposed to putting them in a circle or staright line, he went with something more angular, sharp, or harsh. When I read about how it was political it really had me thinking about innocence and our current government.