Artist: Carmina Correa
Exhibition: A Beach in Symmetry and A Breach in Symmetry
Media: Mixed Media
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Max L. Gatov Gallery East
About the Artist
Carmina Correa is Filipino-American and has Type 2 diabetes. She is apart of the BFA sculpture program and is currently finishing up her last year at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB). After she graduates, she would like to attend a graduate school such as UC Irvine, or UC Berkeley. Her professional career goal is to become a fabricator for other artists. She would like to look at 14 inch art models and transform them into 14 foot art models. In the gallery that Correa’s art is displayed also has works from other artists as well, but the two pieces that belong to Correa are the sugar piece and the confession box. Correa says that the sugar piece is her favorite piece out of the two art pieces.
The sugar piece that Correa made was made from real sugar. It has layers of sugar stacked on top of it. Making the sugar for the piece took Correa about 24 hours because she has to wait at least a day to make one piece after another. The sugar piece looks like it is deteriorating especially the piece on the top. There are also sides to pieces that look they have been broken or fallen off. Another one of Correa’s art is the confession box. The box is very symmetric with all the sides of the box being a perfectly straight line. There is a black curtain on one of the sides of the box, acting as a door to cover up what it inside. When you open the curtain, you see a pew for someone to kneel on. If you kneel on the pew you will a hole and inside the hole there are candles with religious figures as well as stuffed animals such as ‘Mr. Pickle’ and ‘Pooh.’
I think that Correa’s sugar piece is trying to portray how she has Type 2 diabetes. As someone with Type 2 Diabetes, Correa has to control how much sugar she consumes, hence, she doesn’t have that much sweets from time to time. I think the sugar piece is Correa’s way of expressing her desire to have consume sugary products because she can’t have a lot of it.
Correa’s other art piece is a confession box. Correa was raised as a Roman Catholic, hence she has been inside a confession room and has talked to a priest and knows the feeling inside the confession room. I think going inside a confession room might be daunting at first because you are sharing your sins with a priest, someone you don’t know very well, however, you do it anyways because you want to be clear of your sins. Correa has stuffed animals and candles with religious figures on them inside the confession box. I think by adding the stuffed animals and the candles with religious figures on them Correa is trying to say confessions can be daunting depending on who you’re speaking with. For instance, if you are confessing to your friend about your problems then that doesn’t seem daunting at all because your friend is someone you know and someone that you trust. However, if you were to confess to someone you don’t know then it can be intimidating. I think that by having the candles with the religious figures instead of religious figurines, Correa is trying to say that like fire (which is scary and you tend to want to stay away from it), confessions with a priest who you barely know can be scary.
Synthesis / My Experience
When I first went inside the confession box, I thought to myself that the artist who displayed this must be Catholic, like myself, so I really resonated with the confession box. I am raised in a very religious family. I go to church every Sunday and I go to confession at least three times a year. Every time I go to confession, I always feel nervous. I believe that it is normal to feel nervous before a confession because you are in a tiny space talking to someone who you’ve seen do mass like once a month. I always fear that the priest will make me recite a prayer that I don’t quite memorize. Furthermore, I always try to make my confession session with the priest as short and simple as possible by only saying three to four of my sins each time. However, when I go inside the confession room, the priest is always friendly and eases my nerves. Once I am done confessing my sins to the priest I feel better because I have cleared all of my sins. This feeling is similar to the feeling of someone ranting to their friends about a stressful life experience and being able to get something off of their shoulders. Like Correa, I feel that it is more less daunting to talk to a friend about the struggles of life than with a priest. However, at times I do feel that talking to a priest is more helpful because I might not see him ever again and whatever I tell him, he would probably forget and move on with his life.