Week 11 – Artist Conversation – Caryn Aasness

Exhibition Information

Artist: Caryn Aasness
Exhibition: Bonham, Jones, Page
Media: Mixed-Media
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Merlino Gallery
Website: N/A
Instagram: levelyellowproblemchild

About the Artist 

Caryn Aasness is an undergraduate BFA fiber student at CSULB. Once she graduates from the college she would like to attend a graduate school. Further, she hopes to be able to design wallpapers and textures. Aasness has many dream art projects, however, she just needs the time and space to achieve all of her dream projects. Through her artwork, Aasness tries to incorporate women studies and art together because she believes both are important. In addition, by incorporating her artwork with women studies, she feels that her artwork can be more accessible because people can relate to them more.

Formal Analysis

Aasness’s gallery is made up of textures of different colors and sizes. All of the pieces are made up of 26 different colors to show that there are 26 letters in the alphabet. At specific points in the texture, the square is made bolded to illustrate that there is a letter corresponding to that spot on the large piece of texture. Each of her pieces have a special meaning in which viewers have to depict by looking at the captions next to them and reading down and across. Each of the textures has something to do with speaking up in society and making a difference.

Formal Analysis

I think that Aasness was really trying to reach out to women and feminism through her artwork. I think that especially the big piece in the center of the gallery that says ‘To Call it Cute is to Misunderstand’, really tell viewers that women deserve better and should be treated with respect. Another one of Aasness’s artwork that if one were to depict the words says ‘Speak Up’, which I believe that Aasness wants women to fight for equal rights such as equal pay and not to be treated differently than male counterparts. Further, I think that because Aasness is a woman herself, she knows what it feels like to be oppressed in society because she is a woman. Aasness also has taken a few woman studies classes, and as a result, she knows the rich history that women had to fought to get the right to vote and to be more than just housewives.

Synthesis / My Experience

I think Aasness is trying to show how that even in the 21st century women still don’t have equal rights to men. Through the words in her artwork such as ‘To Call It Cute is to Misunderstand’ as well as ‘Speak Up’, Aasness is saying that it’s enough and women deserve to be in the same playing field as men. I think Aasness’s artwork really resonated with me because as a female, I am at times treated differently. I see it every day in the media how women are held to higher standards. I hear about how Hillary Clinton would be an unfit president because she is a female. In addition, I hear about how women are still not being paid the same amount as their male counterparts for doing the same work. I know that women are standing up to themselves more, and with that I am proud. I know there needs more work to be done for women to get the same amount of respect as men which is why I think Aasness’s art exhibition is so important. It calls for women to ‘Speak Up’ and to not keep quiet.

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