Artist: Clare Samani
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Dr. Maxine Merlino Gallery
About the Artist
Clare finds inspiration from people and the clothes they wear. It is something we do on a subconscious level, she would say. Fashion becomes a representation of the person. Our clothes give us personality. This is what inspired her exhibit.
The use printmaking in this exhibit is done with impeccable creativity and technical skill. The technique used was rather interesting, she would take clothes and somehow make these prints. I did not get the full explanation of the process, but the idea intrigued me. Her use of colors also makes these prints stand above the mediocrity that could have easily been achieved if this exhibit would have been created by a lesser artist. These colors gave these pieces character and personality, something that was totally done on purpose. They made these prints stand out and it is what attracted me to want to stay and talk to the artist behind these prints.
Clare is painting portraits with only colors and clothing. She gives blouses and shirts an entity and a personality. This personality comes from the person who she has gotten the article of clothing. She admits that it is more so a representation of how she sees people, but isn’t that how all portraiture works? I asked about her thoughts on the pop art movement of the 1960s, because her prints somewhat reminded me of the principles behind that movement. She is raising rather normal objects into the light of looking upon them as art, but she uses this not to talk about consumerism, like Warhol would do, but rather to portray an identity through clothing.
There was a simplistic beauty that attracted me to this exhibit. For some reason I really enjoyed her first numbered print, Anonymous Shirt. I find it strange that I liked this one more so than all the others, especially after asking Clare more about it. This was one of the prints made from a found object, and was not associated with any one person. She had found this shirt abandoned on campus and made it into art. She took only cues from the shirt itself, and I think the results were incredible. There’s a cool androgyny and unkempt dirtiness to this print. I still enjoy looking at the pictures I took of this print. I’m not quite sure why I like it so, but for some reason it reminds me of everything I love, and I do not know why, because its just a shirt. But maybe that’s why I like it, because that’s what it is, just a shirt, and that’s what is so magnificent about it.