Week 9 – Artist Conversation – Vanessa Olivarez


Exhibition Information

Artist: Vanessa Olivarez

Exhibition: Don’t be Careful, be Gentle

Media: Sculpting, video

Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Dennis W. Dutzi Gallery

Website: http://www.tokioni.com

Instragram: tokioni


About The Artist:

This week for the artist conversation I had the opportunity to meet Vanessa Olivarez and explore her exhibition “Don’t be Careful, be Gentle”. Olivarez is working toward a Bachelor in Fine Art focusing on Sculpture. This is not her first exhibition and outside of school she have put up many illustrations. Something Olivarez look forward to in the future to open up a gallery with her friends and have art shows.

Formal Analysis:

To enter the Dennis W. Dutzi Gallery I had to go through dark curtains, I entered into a dim room with a pink glow to the gallery. In the center of the gallery is a mechanical object moving, which is a clear plastic seesaw that moves up and down. To the left side of the gallery a video is playing and on the other side of the gallery (right side) there is another video being played. To the corner of the left side of the room is a small television set replaying a video. The two main videos that is projected onto the walls have a pattern. When one video is playing the other video would stop playing and have a picture of a cartoon picture of a girl looking into a mirror

Content Analysis:

The video represents the artist and the concept of a person being an individual in the world. The theme of the video on the left side of the gallery plays memories of Olivarez childhood. To the right side of the gallery the video is a representation of Olivarez life as and adult. The significance of the two videos is the struggles of a student trying to understand individualities in the world when childhood’s memories and adult experiences clashes together. The seesaw that is in the center of the gallery move in order to balance the feeling being stuck in between childhood and adulthood experiences. The television in the corner plays in between when the seesaw stops moving and shows us the artist current expression. In the background there is a nostalgic melody playing that come from a music box.


The gallery “ Don’t be Careful, be Gentle” reminds me of my current struggle of what I want to do for my future after graduating. I am stuck with my dream of my childhood of wanting to be someone who can help many people and my current struggle is how am I able to do that and keep a stable job. I should not think too much about the future and focus on present so I do not stress out. By learning about the artist objective of her gallery to balance her life I can relate it to myself. I need to balance d myself and deep breathe so I don’t fall over. I wish I could stay a child forever and be free to do what I want to do, but I also want to grow up and be someone different. The seesaw is very creative and seeing how it creates a balance for the artist I can relate to the artist idea to create a balance in memories and currents events.