Artist: Sean Joy Rosario Cabanig
Exhibition: All Work All Play
Media – Copper, Bronze, Silver
Gallery: Marilyn Werby Gallery
About the Artist:
This week I had the pleasure of Sean Joy Cabanig, an artist here in California State Long Beach who specializes in metals such as copper, bronze, and silver. She is from Los Angeles but currently resides here in Long Beach as she has done for five years. The artist, who first started her academic career with a creative writing major in poetry, is now satisfied with her current position in working with metals. She has two older brothers and likes to create small pieces for them as well as the rest of her family and friend group. Outside of her artistic endeavors, she also loves spending her time by reading, cooking, or dining.
Cabanig’s exhibit, titled All Work All Play, seeks to combine more nuanced emotion with humor. It is an eclectic mix of ideas, inspired by her environments and personal emotions, among everything else. She claims that, of all her works, her pièce de résistance is the finger brace, also one of her simplest pieces in the exhibit.
Like many artists, Cabanig begins her process with sketches of the concept, discussing it afterwards with a professor. After receiving approval, Cabanig then solidifies the concept by creating paper models of it. Here, she may either choose to create a proper model or opt for a wax rendition instead. However, she is also free to skip either or both of these steps in favor of immediately working with the intended materials in order to finish the final piece. Though her primary medium is metallurgy, she is also capable of working with more organic materials such as wood.
The emotions and ideas expressed in Cabanig’s show were reflected in the delicate details of her works. A favorite of mine was the ball-and-chain choker, which seems to represent a theme of gilded imprisonment, a beautiful but heavy weight on the wearer. Another piece that caught my attention was the smooth, polished black bowl heavily contrasted with white rose detailing, as it was not made of metal, which is Cabanig’s area of expertise, yet one could still clearly note her artisan craftsmanship in the softly fading petals. I found the entire exhibit refreshing as well as thought-provoking, and I could sense that the artist also gave an excellent amount of thought and emotion behind each piece. In all respects, I look forward to seeing more from her as she matures into a master artist in her field.