Wk 8 – Artist Conversation – Bri Joy

Exhibition: Merge
Media: BFK reeves paper, screen, emulsion, stencil, light box, ink
Gallery: Max. L Gatov Gallery East
Website: no website
Instagram: bri.joy

About the Artist:
Bri Joy is in her third and final semester in the BFA Printmaking program at CSULB. She transferred from Orange Coast College after taking all of their printmaking courses. Prior to that, Joy attended Orange County High School of the Arts, taking all of their available printmaking courses as well. Joy was brought up in Modjeska county, an area where there were only approximately 1,000 residents.As a child she felt a closeness to everyone in her town, but when she moved to the city, she noticed that people are more reserved and protective of themselves, and therefore less trustworthy and open to others. There was little to no cell phone/internet service where she grew up, so her life was influenced by being outdoors and living an organic lifestyle. Her hobbies born from her childhood lifestyle include, but are not limited to, yoga, surfing, skateboarding, snowboarding, and hiking.

Content Analysis:
The main inspiration of Joy’s show Merge is the merging from her organic upbringing into the big city environment. It began when she had worked on a nude self portrait, representative of her organic roots, and when she was working on the image on the computer, a digital noise overlay appeared on the image. Whereas most would work to remove it, Joy was inspired. She decided to take that idea and create a show based on it, feeling that the organic drawings represent her past and the digital noise represents her current life in the city, each piece creates a merge between the two halves of her life that come together to create the person she is today. The other inspiration for her work is the idea of concept versus color. Whereas Joy usually makes very colorful works, she chose to create the works in Merge purely black and white to force the images to tell the story without the support of color to suggest mood and meaning.

Formal Analysis:
Joy is trying to bring forth emotion through versatility of line work. She wants her audience to look deeper into the message of each piece through the shifts in line. Each piece in Merge has been screen printed by hand. Joy cut her own paper from ten yard rolls to create the larger size of piece she desired for her works. Because of this, there was no room for mistakes, thus Joy had to be extremely exact when transferring designs and stencils from the screen to the paper with ink. Each piece was done in sections, as the screen and screen printing tables are not large enough to print the entire design in one go. Joy had to be extremely precise with the ink and image section line-up to make sure that the places where the sections meet appear seamless on the paper. All of this is very time-consuming and difficult to do, yet Joy managed to successfully compose an entire body of work in this style which is very impressive.

My Experience:
I find Joy’s show to be very relatable. I come from a smaller town, and although it was much different than her childhood, I still feel I can relate to the culture shock represented within her work and her life story. I find that letting the work speak for itself versus using color to describe the emotion was an excellent choice; it makes the content of the images stand out a lot more than they would have if there had been color incorporated within the pieces. I have personally gotten to see Bri and her peers in the Printmaking BFA program work on their pieces for the past two years as an employee in the studio here on campus, and I am awed by the amount of precision and dedication these students put out to make their artwork. Bri represents a wonderful program of students that I am proud to work alongside and I hope she does well in her future endeavors.

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