Artists’ Names: Dalia Banuelos and Daniel Bonilla-Vera
Link to Artists’ Website: dbvphotography.com
Media: Photography, Fiber, Sculpture
Instagrams: @daliaeffect, @dbvqp
Gallery: Maxine Merlino Gallery
About the Artists:
Dalia says she never imagined herself following through with art although she received endless support from her family who encouraged her to follow her passion. Her mother is a photographer and her brother likes to draw. However, she didn’t think she was very good at it when she started. She transferred from a community college in Los Angeles where she was able to take many diverse art classes. But it wasn’t until she attended CSULB that she changed her major to photography. To her misfortune, she was rejected to the BFA of Photography twice which is the maximum amount of times you are allowed—which then led her to become a Studio art major.
Daniel mentioned that he became very interested in art since he was a child and he knew that he would one day pursue a career in either music or art. In high school, he became enlightened once he took a photography class, that he wanted to pursue photography in college. As of now, Daniel has been rejected from the BFA of Photography once and is in the process of his second application.
As I walked into the installation, I was scared off the bat because A. there was a black curtain covering the entrance and B. because the first object I saw were two people in the fetus position and they looked terribly upset. There was an eerie vibe in the room because all the photos were in black and white. The next thing I noticed was the string. There was string everywhere. The string was holding up all the photographs on the walls and on top of the two people. The string that was above the two people was intertwined and it looked hectic because there were many photographs and pieces of art hanging from it. As I exited the room, there was a large gold trash can where the string ended and inside the trash can were tons of photographs and art pieces.
The artists definitely were both able to demonstrate their frustrations through their installation. The exhibit showed how frustrated they felt being rejected from their dreams and feeling like they did something wrong. Daniel explained that to him, “Infraction” was a way to show his frustration towards the institution, in this case being the photography program. He feels that the “institution” has certain views and ideals about what art should look like and so for the installation, him and Dalia did the opposite of that. One point that he brought up was the fact that there was only a single piece of string holding up every photo in the room and if it were cut, then everything would fall and be destroyed. The yarn symbolizes his life, his dreams, his goals meanwhile, the institution did not hesitate to cut the string and destroy everything he had ever worked for. The two people that were on the floor also managed to exude frustration with the body language presented and were a representation of both Dalia and Daniel.
Once I was able to talk to Daniel about his and Dalia’s art I realized how good this exhibit was. Before this class, I could care less about art majors. Primarily because as a science major, I spend all my time studying and don’t have time to do fun projects or hang out with my friends and I felt like people who were art majors did have the time. However, I cannot imagine how hard it is to have to constantly come up with something new and original and having to do this at a constant rate to meet deadlines must be exhausting. I can imagine that it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to finally finish an exhibit only to have people criticize it or not like it. If it were me, it would send my self-esteem down under. However, it is always good to find a way to cope with rejection and failure because that is a way for us to grow as a person. You’re never going to be the best at everything and you have to accept that. Both Dalia and Daniel found a unique way to express their feelings toward their situation and it was done very tastefully. This is probably one of my favorite exhibits.