Exhibition Information

Artist: Vanessa Olivarez
Exhibition: Don’t Be Careful, Be Gentle
Media: Film and Acrylic
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Dennis W. Dutzi Gallery
Website: tokioni.com

About Vanessa Olivarez

Vanessa Olivarez is a fourth year attending California State University Long Beach. She is currently working for her BFA in the art of Sculpture. During an interview with Vanessa, she stated that she enjoys things likes making videos, sewing, drawing, painting, writing poems and playing with language. Vanessa also stated that even as a child, she had an interest in art, which is why she decided to pursue this path in college.


Formal Analysis

From my interpretation of the exhibit, I can see that Vanessa was trying to portray two different words. The seesaw that was placed in the middle of the exhibit was the main attraction and probably even the most important. The seesaw symbolizes the idea of two different words and the struggle to find a balance between the two; being in constant motion between two different things. Aside from the seesaw, the exhibit also has two different videos playing on opposite walls. On one wall was a video about the idea of being alone whereas the other video was about the idea of socializing- not wanting to be alone. The idea of this exhibit is being between two worlds by wanting one thing and another.


Content Analysis

In the exhibit, Vanessa included a video on two sides of the wall as well as different prop set ups around the room. The main attraction from Vanessa’s exhibit was the seesaw, which was placed directly in the middle of the exhibit. On the opposite ends of the seesaw were two videos played on each wall.The videos that were played were made personally by the artist based on the artist’s personal experience. Aside from those aspects was also a display of a small TV, a music box with music playing in the background, and tying the exhibit together was the pink undertone lighting which made the exhibit have a very mysterious feel to it.


My Experience

Overall, I enjoyed this exhibit. I really like how the artist tied together two of the most common issues in today’s society. The aspect and the idea of trying to balance your social life with your independent self. The display that the author used to tie this aspect together was also very unique. The idea of the seesaw was something that was very eye catching to me because it played a key role in the video that was being played on the walls. In addition to the seesaw, I also really like how the artist would switch videos every time the seesaw would change its angle. This reminded me of the idea and the struggle of finding a balance between the lives that people live. The struggle of balancing who you are and who you want to be.

Reflecting back on my experience with this exhibit, I would have to saw that the message from this exhibit is very relateable. Not only to me, but I believe to many people in society as well. The exhibit had a very nice twist and a different feel to it, but in the end everything connected well together and the artist got her message across to those who took part in viewing the exhibit.