Week 9- Artist Conversation-Dalia Banuelos and Daniel Bonilla-Vera

Exhibition Information:

Artists’ Names: Dalia Banuelos and Daniel Bonilla-Vera

Artist Tag: None

Link to Artists’ Website: dbvphotography.com

Exhibition: Infraction

Media: Photography, Fiber, Sculpture

Instagrams: Dalia- @daliaeffect, Daniel- @dbvqp

Gallery: Maxine Merlino Gallery

About the Artists: 

Dalia Banuelos 

Dalia and art itself go way back as she said. Art runs through her family; her mother is a photographer and her brother does a lot of drawings. She didn’t imagine herself going in this direction because she wasn’t that good at art in the beginning but she didn’t give up and continued her “passion” in art. She is a transfer from a Community College in Los Angeles where she studied Design Art, Art History, and even Metal. It wasn’t until she came to Long Beach, that she switched her major to photography. However, she got rejected into the BFA of Photography two times, which is the maximum amount of times you are allowed to. Therefore, her major is now an undergraduate in Studio Art. During her free time, she does martial arts and continues to draw things that may be realistic, abstract, and whatever happens to be on her mind. The rejection from the photographer program played a major impact on this exhibition.

Daniel Bonilla-Vera 

Daniel became interested in art as a young kid. He knew he was going to pursue a career in either music or some sort of art. It wasn’t until his photographer class in high school that he realized he wanted to major in photography. He is also a transfer from the College of the Sequoias which is near Fresno. He has already been rejected from the BFA of Photography and is still processing his second application. It is up in the air at the moment. In his free time, he sleeps and eats because he is a full time student as well as a full time employee. When I asked what his favorite food was, he said,” Anything cheap, it’s like I’m a poor, starving art student.”

Dalia was seeking for art students that had also got rejected but many didn’t want to because they were ashamed and embarrassed. However, Daniel joined her because he simply wanted to and wants to help Dalia refine.

Formal Analysis:

Before I walked into “Infraction”, my first thought was “I’m scared, the curtains make me wonder what’s behind there.” When I walked into this exhibition, there was a lot of photographs hanging from exactly one piece of yarn. There was also two people who were in a “turtle” position, meaning scrunched up in a ball. I noticed that there was painting of splatter on the walls which consisted of water color and paint itself. Dalia’s was the right side and Daniel’s was on the right and they shared center. As I entered the exhibition, there was a trashcan to the left filled with photos, papers, and different art materials.

Context Analysis:

The materials such as watercolor, paints, sculpture, photos, etc. all come together and have an affect on the viewer, specifically, their emotions. They both wanted the audience to feel what they are feeling which is simply rejection and not knowing where you went wrong. It’s natural human reaction, but we seem to think that we suffer alone when we don’t because many people go through this all the time. The show itself is a way of coping with rejection and a way of saying “F**k you all.” The meaning of “Infraction” is a response to an unfortunate event. Daniel explained that it’s basically doing things against rules that are against an institution, this being the photography program. The program wants everything framed, nice and neat, however, the exhibition has a bunch of photos just hanging everywhere which goes against the rules. The yarn is exactly one string holding on and Daniel explained,”If it were to be cut, it would all be destroyed and fall down because it is fragile.” This relates to people in general. The people on the floor show a sense of frustration that is bottled up, causing people to ask, “Are you ok?” Also, they express an unsettling feeling. The fact that both those people on the floor are wearing Dalia and Daniel’s actual clothes is very intriguing. They both displayed their artwork so people can see the whole process of photography; which is making something out of other things and not throwing it away, referring to the trash can. Everybody just wants to see the final product and sometimes it’s not all perfect.

Synthesis/My Experience: 

This was another week that I enjoyed the artwork. I related to the feeling of rejection a lot. “Infraction” showed me that things don’t have to be perfect and just because you get rejected doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world. Somewhere in the world, there will be someone that appreciates your “failures.” I didn’t get accepted to UCLA and felt like I wasn’t good enough or I didn’t succeed academically when I had a 4.3 GPA. However, I learned to cope with rejection by looking at the brighter side of things. This exhibition really impacted and touched me because rejection is so relatable in the world and nobody can’t deny that.

I took a few pictures of what most attracted me.


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