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OBJCT Gallery show blends reality, perception

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Brenna von den Benken
Staff Writer

Featuring the work of 12 master of fine arts candidates at Claremont Graduate University, “EMERGENT 12” reflects an artistic movement through various media in the OBJCT Gallery at the Claremont Village.

The exhibition, which opened Feb. 4 in the Packing House in Claremont, represents the next generation of emerging artists that live and work in the community.

The movement documents a shift between perception and reality through paintings, photographs, video compositions and unique physical structures that stretch from ceiling to floor, popping radiant colors among the all-white interiors of the OBJCT Gallery.

Since the mid-1950s, Los Angeles has been a hotbed of new art and groundbreaking galleries, museums and alternative art spaces.

“Claremont is no exception,” curator David Shearer said. “It has such a history of art that dates way back.”

“New York is more corporate about art. It’s more about the money over there, so I came out to Los Angeles to be able to escape it,” Shearer said.

World-class artists such as Karl Benjamin call Claremont home and the colleges have spawned such names as Chris Burden and James Turrell.

One CGU student, artist Amy Huynh, shot a video with sound composition of an urban landscape of jellyfish and its natural motions.

“It’s based on contraction and expansion,” Huynh said. “The passive travelling motion of the jellyfish is dictated by water currents.”

Huynh portrays a mixture of twisted, urbanized reality with colorful fantasy in her jellyfish video, exuding neon colors and haunting tunes.

The general themes of the art depict relationships of what is perceived and what is real.

As life and art mesh, the difference between the artificial and the real are becoming progressively blurred.

Some of these artists have created physical structures that intersect with everyday life, while others construct elaborate fictional systems that fuse elements of reality and fantasy.

Some artists have combined time elements of the past, present and future into one, as well as, historical icons and contemporary pop culture.

“I just love the whole self expression of the exhibition and artists,” spectator Sabrina Garcia said.

“I know a lot of these artists personally, and it’s really cool that most of them have degrees in something else other than art. These creations are just something they do on the side,” Garcia said.

The Claremont Village features art walks every first Friday of the month between 5:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

However, “EMERGENT 12” is a special exhibition at the OBJCT Gallery that will display Claremont Graduate University students’ work from Feb. 4 through Mar. 27.

Brenna von den Benken can be reached at

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