Artist: Nick Bamford
Media: Foam, Cement, Wood, Plaster
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery East
About the Artist:
This week’s artist is Nick Bamford, a CSULB senior working for his BFA in ceramics. His interest in this medium began in high school, when he immediately fell in love with the ceramics class they offered. After he graduates, he intends to continue his studies in Yale or in UCLA. Picasso is among his favorite artists, and his influence on Bamford’s work shines through. Bamford’s hobbies lie in creating pieces by hand, often finding new and innovative styles to incorporate into his work.
Bamford’s pieces were especially eye-catching due to its neon light fixtures that introduce a theme of illumination coming from within the piece and not from an external force. The darkness of the room highlights this as well as subverts the traditional notion that artworks must be displayed in bright white rooms. The black surroundings provide a sharp contrast to the neon lines and textures that Bamford utilizes in his work. Many of the individual parts in his sculptures hold a significant meaning to him as well, personalizing the pieces.
Shifting angles definitely provide entirely different interpretations to each piece, allowing the viewer to return to each piece multiple times and experience something entirely new, or otherwise ruminate on its possibilities for a long time. This, then, gives Bamford’s works a timelessness that few artists are able to capture so well. The subversion of light and dark, in which his pieces are what cast “light” on its surroundings–as opposed to other sculptures which stand under the light for examination–was original and highly engaging.
The first thought that popped into my head upon entering the dark exhibit room, inhabited by brightly glowing neon sculptures, was that it was ethereal. Each piece was mesmerizing in its own right, and the experience was heightened by the surrounding darkness. It felt as if I entered a fantasy world that skimmed on the edge of reality. The piece is something that definitely has to be experienced in person to understand. Overall, I feel that this exhibition will remain with me, and I implore anyone to visit it as well.